It’s hard to find the perfect seat at a live UFC show. You want to be just close enough to fighters and celebrities but far enough away to see all the action. One fan never has to worry, because Bruce Buffer has the best seat in the house, on the house.
When Buffer dropped out of Santa Monica College at 19 to start a printer paper and toner company, becoming a celebrity emcee was the furthest thing from his mind. But when he was managing the career of his half-brother, noted ring announcer Michael Buffer, Bruce saw an opportunity to make his own mark.
When World Championship Wrestling forced Michael to stop working UFC events, Bruce pursued the gig, announcing under cards starting at UFC 8. After finagling himself onto an episode of “Friends” in 1997 playing himself as a UFC announcer, Bruce became the full-time voice of the Ultimate Fighting Championship at UFC 13. And with the exception of Ultimate Japan, Bruce Buffer has announced every UFC card since number 13. Matchmaker Joe Silva is only one person who has been with the organization longer.
A 102-degree fever couldn’t keep Buffer from doing his job. Nor could an angry Tank Abbott attempting to wrest the mic away from Buffer following his loss to Frank Mir. He lets them do their job, Buffer explained to Abbott, and they should let him do his job.
Buffer continues to capitalize on his time behind the microphone and in the Octagon. He was there before Zuffa purchased the company and he will be there after today’s stars have faded. He’s a star in his own right, but he’ll never big-time a fan.
“The moment you start not liking the attention that you receive, you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing,” he says. “It’s all about the fans. They’re the ones that put us here and we have to do everything we can to keep us here.”
To express his gratitude, he offers specialized recordings for weddings, birthdays, or phone messages through his website bufferzone.net. But if you want a Buffer Turn to go with it, you’re on your own.
Click here to read about Buffer’s favorite UFC memories.