Mike Goldberg speaks for the first time since leaving the UFC.

Mike Goldberg speaks for the first time since leaving the UFC.

Mike Goldberg just got off of the air with Ariel Helwani and had so much to say about his departure from the UFC. Here are the highlights from his interview.

When he received the news that his UFC tenure was over

“Right around December 1st I got the news that my contract would not be renewed. It was a shock. I was speechless. I didn’t know what kind of emotion to have.”

Was there talk about a reason why?

“No. Not at all. I’m not going to weep because new ownership came in and I was one of the guys that got cut. I was one of a LOT of people… and a lot of good people, who got cut from the Zuffa era. I watched everything around me get shattered. It took 15 years to build this wonderful family, but it felt like it took 15 minutes to destroy it. This is not uncommon with ownership changing.”

“What I do is very subjective. I can ask 100 people about Bob Costas. 50 people could say he was the greatest ever. 50 people could say he was the worst of all time. Well, 50 aren’t right and 50 aren’t wrong. It’s like ketchup and mustard. Some people like ketchup and some people are going to like mustard.”

If Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta were still around

“If this was still Zuffa, I don’t believe we’d be having this conversation.”

What Dana said to Goldberg upon release.

“No conversations. No contact. Nothing, really. Which was surprising. Disappointing, certainly. I’ve got to live with that, but at the end of the day what matters is my family. My children. To answer your question directly about Dana White, there was no conversation. Nothing at all.”

Fan disappointment about no tribute to Goldie on his final broadcast

“At the time it would have been pretty cool. Now that I’ve stepped back, I’m kind of glad they didn’t. What turned out to be a tribute, was everything we’ve talked about. Everything that I’ve read and has been posted all over the world for the past month. The tribute I’m getting around the world from the fans… and not just the fans; From the fans, from fighters, from members of the media… is awesome.”

“I got a text from Anthony Rumble Johnson a few days after the announcement. He basically said, ‘I’ve been trying to track down your number for a couple of days. I hope it’s okay that I’m texting you. You’ve always treated me with so much class and you’ve always been such a good person. I just wanted to let you know that I thank you for everything.’ Here is this mean dude who is ferocious saying, ‘I hope it’s okay that I texted you.’ That right there, THAT is a tribute!”

Goldie’s son tweets at the UFC

“What do they say when we come into this Earth? Leave a legacy. My son, 16 years old and he’s sitting there at the house watching the show. For Kole to take the initiative, to take the stand up for his father… He’s a kid who has watched his father during the times of prep. Seen all the hard work that goes into this glamorous job which I have. That was tribute enough for the rest of my life. Because, that’s really what it’s all about. It’s about my daughter Kiarra and it’s about my son Kole. Kole was 100% right in what he tweeted.”

What happened after his final show

“We all got into the Octagon and took pictures. There were tears. Confusion. Disbelief, for sure. It was a few people’s last show. We haven’t done pictures in the Octagon for a hundred years. Then we went back to the dressing room and we all just sat there for about an hour and just shook our heads. Like, ‘How did this happen?’ There’s one thing for sure that will never be taken away from us and that was our friendship and the great run we had.”

Words of wisdom from Tony Orlando

*Tony Orlando grabs Goldie’s face* “Michael. Listen to me. You are an unbelievable talent and the world knows that. This is going to be good for you. Don’t you be sad at all, because your next opportunity is going to be the best opportunity of your life.”

Goldie making a surprise appearance in the crowd at UFN: Phoenix

“BJ Penn is one of my best friends in the world. I went that night for BJ Penn. I’m in a suite, not in the stands at all. I decide to get closer for BJ’s fight. I go down and see empty seats. Then I see the camera and do the ‘shaka’. This is what I’m thinking Ariel, ‘Okay, they spotted me in the crowd and the truck is saying hello. They are in commercial break. They are certainly not going to put me on TV.’ Imagine the production truck…. ‘Joooooeee Lauzon!’ Then it goes to the crowd shot and out pops Goldie. I wasn’t even supposed to be in the stands. I was that dude, getting past the ushers.”

Continuing as an MMA fan

“MMA has been my life for the past two decades. There are a lot of fighters that I’m friends with and a fan of. It won’t be difficult to watch MMA. I might keep the sound low. I’m just kidding. It’s not like I’m never watching a UFC again. I might make the neighbor pay for the Pay-Per-View.”

“Of course I’m going to watch MMA. I’m going to watch One FC, I’m going to watch Bellator, and I’m going to watch the Ultimate Fighting Championship.”

What is next

“I’m not the kind of person to sit still. I’m already thinking about what’s next. What’s the next adventure? What’s the next journey? Where am I going to go next? Is it going to be in MMA? Is it going to be in hockey? Will it be in Vegas? What’s next? There are some great opportunities out there. The thing that I’m most excited about is to continue to do what I love, which is to entertain, be enthusiastic, and be energetic.”

“My point is that the coolest part about my time with the UFC, was when the journey was really a journey. When we were catching fire and we were making all of these jumps and major changes.”

Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta

“Lorenzo sponsored my son’s hockey team, 4 or 5 straight years. Forget about everything else. When he did that, that was something you do with a family. That always meant more to me than the professional part. I respect the heck out of the Fertittas. Especially Lorenzo. I have so much respect for Lorenzo Fertitta and the way he treats people. I have so much gratitude for what he has provided for me and my family. The sponsor for the hockey team, that was always different for me. I felt like it was his way of  saying, ‘Goldie, of course I will. You’re a part of the family.’ That was very special that Lorenzo did that, year after year.”

The interview and full show can be heard in it’s entirety, on the MMA Hour’s Youtube Channel