When UFC ring announcer Bruce Buffer gets on the microphone, you know IT’S TIME. With an unmatched passion and unmistakable voice, Buffer’s fighter introductions have become a staple of the UFC experience. We caught up with the maestro to get his thoughts on what the hectic world of the UFC looks like from his unique perspective.
Do you have any idea of the actual number of UFC cards you have announced?
I really don’t. I started at UFC 8, and we just wrapped up UFC 154. Over that time, I’ve only missed one event. When you add in the non-pay-per-view cards, like Fuel TV and FX, I have easily done close to 200 shows.
With multiple cards per month, how do you handle such a busy travel schedule?
I’m very passionate about what I do, but the travel required for this job takes some getting used to. For instance, I did the Atlantic City show in June, and in less than 24 hours, I was announcing fights in Brazil. I was basically in two different hemispheres doing two different UFC shows in less than 24 hours. I’m quite proud of that accomplishment, and with the help of Zuffa, I was able to get it done. It’s all about the travel.
You’ve announced some huge fights over the course of your career. Are there any that stick out in your mind more than others?
As soon as I think I’ve seen the greatest fight ever, something will come along and change that. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Randy Couture wars with Pedro Rizzo or Stephan Bonnar versus Forrest Griffin—it keeps getting more amazing. I can’t point out what I consider to be the greatest fight ever, but I can tell you I look at it as a privilege and an honor to be in the Octagon and announce these great warriors.
Are there any particular fighter names you look forward to calling?
I enjoy calling all the fighters. I really like to pay respect to these warriors because they train six to eight weeks—it’s their big night, and that’s what my phrase ‘It’s time’ is about. But if you ask me about the one that stands out, everybody always talks about the Dan Hardy introductions. We are like two singers going back and forth, getting in each other’s face, and doing a duet because he is mouthing back to me what I’m saying to him.
I know the Buffer 360 was specific to UFC 100, but will we ever see it again?
The Arial 360 is retired. I’ve already done three or four grounded 360s, with the last one coming at UFC 129 in Toronto where we had 55,000 people in attendance. I did a grounded 360, a 180, and even did an Arial 180 out of the blue corner. At that event, when I said, ‘Georges Rush St-Pierre,’ he came running out, and I hopped back and injured myself. I had an ankle injury from earlier that week, didn’t land correctly, and blew the ACL in my knee out. I didn’t get it operated on right away, and strangely enough, Georges injured his ACL months later, and we were both operated on by the same doctor. We even wound up together at the tail end of rehab. It’s kind of funny when you think about it.
How do you unwind after the chaos of an event has ended?
After the show is over, the first thing I do is go back to the hotel and change out of the monkey suit. I usually like to have a nice glass of wine to relax, then go out and have some fun. After returning from a show, I like to get into the water and do some surfing or chill out and catch up on my favorite TV shows.
You always seem to have several projects in motion outside of the cage. What is your latest endeavor?
I’m really excited about my Bruce Buffer ‘It’s Time’ application for iPhones. It’s an alarm clock and a reminder messages and a game. There are over 150 sayings, such as, ‘It’s time…to get your ass out of bed.’ There are other reminder messages you can use for everyday situations. You can have a lot of fun with it, and I made it really cheap [99¢]. I’m very excited about it, and the response has been great.