The former voice of Strikeforce is making his way to WWE.
Veteran MMA broadcaster Mauro Ranallo will be joining the WWE universe as part of the SmackDown commentary team on Jan. 7. The move was first reported by Sports Illustrated Sunday, only to be confirmed a day later by Ranallo himself.
“Joining WWE has always been a lifelong dream of mine,” Ranallo said in a statement on WWE.com. “I am thrilled to add my voice to the ‘SmackDown’ broadcasts as the show moves to its new home on USA Network.”
Long known for his work on Showtime Sports, Ranallo has also worked with PRIDE, Invicta FC and Elite XC.
According to the WWE report, “Ranallo is the only sports broadcaster to call every major combat sport on national television, including boxing, kickboxing and MMA, as well as helping to launch New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV.”
Despite joining WWE, Ranallo says he will continue to provide play-by-play for Showtime’s boxing events.
“I have a very supportive family at Showtime and it’s unbelievable that WWE is allowing me to continue to call Showtime Championshp Boxing as well as all of my other combat sports duties as it pertains to kickboxing and MMA,” Ranallo said to Yahoo Sports‘ Kevin Iole. “The boyhood dream has come true for me. The fact that I get to do all of my passions in one calendar year, I can’t believe it yet.”
Ranallo says pro wrestling was always his first love when he entered the broadcasting industry.