Jim Ross Could Become UFC, MMA’s First Play-By-Play Storyteller
Now that would be awesome.
Ross is widely regarded as the best professional wrestling announcer in history, largely because of his ability to tell stories and create a compelling narrative for the listener. He is as much responsible for the rise of The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mick Foley, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker and John Cena as the actual superstars themselves.
There’s no doubt Ross could call UFC fights. The UFC could use better storytellers on the microphone.
Imagine Ross calling the Alistair Overeem vs. Frank Mir match at UFC 167:
“Folks, this it. Two legends at the crossroads. One lives to fight another day, the other goes home. This isn’t about titles, or big paychecks or fame. This is about honor, respect and being able to look yourself in the face and say, ‘yes, I am still man enough to fight, stand up for myself to be somebody in this sport.’ Tonight we find out who wants it most. Who wants it the worst. Who wants it enough to put everything on the line to win one more time.”
Who wouldn’t watch that?
Ross knows how to connect with an audience better than anyone. In a perfect world Ross would still be calling WWE Monday Night Raw. A guy like Dolph Ziggler could really use a storyteller like J.R. to explain why he matters to fans.
Some MMA hardcores might suggest that Rose would tarnish the sport by bringing his style of commentary to the UFC. Ross is a smart guy, however. He’s going to make sure that he knows every move before getting behind the microphone.
He’s not the analyst; he’s the play-by-play guy, and he could explain better than anyone why Overeem vs. Mir would be a “slobber knocker” and “Oh my Gawd, Overeem has about three seconds to escape Mir’s kimura. It’s not about his career anymore, it’s about saving a man’s arm so he can go home and hold his baby daughter again!”