In 2003, a relatively unknown Canadian commentator named Mauro Ranallo was tasked to join one of MMA’s biggest stars and personalities in Bas Rutten as the broadcast team for Japan’s biggest promotion, Pride Fighting Championships.
Following years as a commentator for EliteXC and Strikeforce, as well as Showtime Boxing, Ranallo has focused on his pro wrestling roots, first as the co-host of AXS TV’s coverage of New Japan Pro Wrestling with former UFC champion Josh Barnett, and most recently as “The Voice of SmackDown” for the WWE.
Now, for the first time since Strikeforce’s sale to the UFC, Ranallo returns to MMA as he reunites with Rutten as part of the revamped line-up of Inside MMA on AXS TV.
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During a media tour to promote his new role on Inside MMA, Ranallo spoke to MMAWeekly.com about once again returning to the sport, working with Rutten, and the praise he’s gotten from colleagues and fans during his time as a WWE commentator.
MMAWeekly.com: Firstly, Mauro, tell us how you and Bas ended up working together the first time all those years ago in Pride and now getting a chance to reunite with him on Inside MMA now.
Mauro Ranallo: He and I had done an extremely low budget movie that was never released back in 2000 in my native Vancouver, where we surprisingly played broadcasters. The chemistry was immediate. We became really good friends. Bas and I reconnected in Pride and from the opening match-up to the end of the show, it was two buddies having fun, talking fights, and since then it’s been a good fit.
Recently, we started up a ….View full article