LAS VEGAS – Bruce Buffer is embedded in the UFC’s DNA through his memorable announcing over 25 years with the company.
Referred to by many as “The Voice of the Octagon,” Buffer has been introducing fighters the UFC since February 1996. For his 25-year anniversary with the company, Buffer was paid a tribute Saturday during the UFC 258 broadcast in Las Vegas.
Buffer didn’t expect the tribute and said he is thankful to be recognized for his work inside the cage.
“You know how passionate I am to be the voice of the octagon, working for Dana (White) and all the powers that be in the UFC – I love it,” Buffer told reporters after UFC 258. “I wish I had another 25 years, who knows, because I’m ready to rock and roll for 25 more.
“I can’t even imagine 25. It’s just gone by so fast. I want to thank the UFC for the beautiful tribute tonight. I did not expect that. It caught me like a side shot to the head. It was so beautiful.”
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The UFC started in 1993 and Buffer joined three years after its launch. In the 1990s, the UFC was far from what it is today. MMA was far from being a mainstream commodity, and it didn’t have the magnitude of a fan base it has now.
Although Buffer joined in the early stages of the sport, he said he knew the UFC and MMA were headed for big things.
“Back in 1996 when I got involved with the UFC, I realized this was going to be the biggest thing in fighting sports,” Buffer said. “I realized it was probably going to be the biggest thing in sports. And when you stick with something, when I set a goal, I stick with it to the end. I’m a loyal soldier.
“I’ve wanted to do everything I could, way beyond being the face of the octagon announcer to the UFC, because I love the organization. I love the sport. I love announcing these female and male warriors, the greatest fighters in the world. (They’re) some of the best people I’ve ever met. The friends I’ve made, the relationships with media, fighters, the people I work with – I love this. This is awesome.”
Throughout the course of his 25-year run with the UFC, Buffer has been able to see the company and sport blossom. He’s also traveled the world and witnessed MMA history from the front row. Buffer does have several announcing goals left, even after 25 years, and some outside the sport.
“I’ve had a lot of bucket lists that I’ve crossed out, and there’s more to come,” Buffer said. “As far as the UFC, I want to continue to announce these great warriors.
“I’ve had the Super Bowl commercial, but I want to be on the field for the Super Bowl announcing everybody coming out of the tunnel and start up the game. I’ve done it for the NFL, NBA, hockey, baseball – I’ve done it for all the sports. There’s always mountains to climb and I’m always open for another challenge. Let me parachute out of a plane, land on a stadium, and announce it. I’ll do it. I’m always game for something.”