Bruce Buffer has become known as the “Voice of the Octagon” for his work as a fight announcer in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). But Bruce’s journey to becoming one of the most well-known and respected announcers in sports started long before he ever stepped into the octagon. In this blog post, we will take a look at Bruce’s early days and how he got his start in the business. We will also take a look at Bruce’s brother, who is also a fight announcer, and find out what it was like working together.
The Early Days
Bruce Buffer was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1957. Buffer, the grandson of former flyweight boxer Johnny Buff, has fighting in his blood. When he was thirteen, Buffer started studying judo and achieved the rank of green belt.
He moved to Malibu, California, with his family at the age of fifteen and met two of Chuck Norris’ pupils, who showed him Tang Soo Do, In which he holds a second-degree black belt; he began kickboxing in his twenties but had to stop when he turned 32 due to suffering a concussion.
Bruce recalled: “I had a match which I won but took a lot of damage – the guy belted me pretty good,” he said. “The next day, I was hurting all over, and I was slurring my words. The doctor asked me if I was making any money off this, and I told him, ‘No, I’m a businessman, and I do this for kicks.’ He told me straight up that if I didn’t stop, this is what my life would look like when I was 50. I did a lot of soul searching and decided to give it up.”
Bruce Enters The UFC
Buffer managed to talk his way into announcing the opening bouts at UFC 8. Semaphore tried out a variety of announcers, but Buffer utilized a connection to get himself cast as a UFC commentator on an episode of the television show “Friends.”
He is quoted as saying: “I called them back afterward and said, ‘Look, I was just on one of the most popular shows in the country as the face of your company. You pretty much have to use me now, don’t you?”
He begged and begged to the point where he was a bit boring, and his chance finally came at UFC 10 when he did his first singles match as a replacement for the then-standard cage announcer.
Buffer eventually managed to convince then UFC owner Robert Myer to hire him as the full-time ring announcer. Buffer had his first fight announcement as a full-time ring announcer at UFC 13 on May 30, 1997. And the rest is history.
Nowadays, while Rogan chooses only big PPV events to comment on, and even the worn-out company president Dana White no longer goes to smaller events, Bruce Buffer is tireless. He still does between 35 and 40 events a year.
When asked if he rehearses his lines at home, he said: “The thing is, you can’t really rehearse this,” he continued. “I can’t sit here in my house and yell, ‘The Iiiiiceman, Chuck Liiiid-dell!’ The only time you can go 100 percent is when you’re in front of the crowd and feeling their energy. You have to adjust. You don’t announce an undercard match if the crowd isn’t into it, the same way you announce the main event, like when Chuck’s music is playing, and everyone in the crowd is on their feet.”
The Voice Of The Fight World
Bruce’s brother (actually half-brother), Michael Buffer, is also a well-known fight announcer. The two brothers actually worked together for many years before going their separate ways. In recent years, they have reunited to work on some projects together again. It is clear that the Buffer family has a true passion for fighting and announcing.
His brother, Michael Buffer, is maybe even more famous than his brother Bruce Buffer. Bruce Buffer has been the UFC commentator since 1992, while his brother Michael started in 1982. His brother’s catchphrase is “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble,” while Bruce’s catchphrase is “It’s time!”.
Michael is much more known in the boxing and professional wrestling communities as the top fight announcer, while Bruce is more known in the MMA community.
The two brothers’ style of announcing differ ever so slightly, each in their own way – one smooth and dignified, as befits the sport of boxing, and the other a bit raw and energetic, which is more appropriate for an MMA announcement.
An interesting fact from his incredible life story is that he did not meet his much more famous half-brother until he was 29 years old. He only found out who the famous Michael Buffer was when people started asking him intensively if they were related.
After learning that he and Michael grew up only twenty kilometers from each other, his father finally admitted to him that he had a half-brother. He contacted Michael, they met, grew closer over time, and Bruce eventually became his manager, which he remains to this day.
If you are a fan of the UFC, then you have undoubtedly heard Bruce Buffer’s voice. Bruce is a true icon in the world of sports broadcasting. His passion for the sport of MMA is evident every time he steps into the octagon.
Once Buffer brings the final curtain down on his spectacular career, it will mark the end of an illustrious era for many UFC fans in the world’s biggest fight promotion. Few will “cry” for Dan White, but Bruce Buffer will definitely leave many fight fans with tears in their eyes.