Recognizing 20 exceptional years as the sport’s premier announcer, Bruce Buffer is a popular Lifetime Achievement award recipient
It’s almost impossible to imagine the UFC without Bruce Buffer. He’s lent his velvet voice to mixed martial arts’ premier promotion for almost two decades and raised the bar to unscaleable heights since he began his Octagon journey in the summer of 1996 at UFC 10.
‘The Voice of the Octagon’ brings so much more to the sport than simply reading out names and results. He’s a performer, an entertainer and an essential part of the show. He whips the crowd – and fighters – into a frenzy with his energetic, emotive and essential reads. And let’s not forget the Buffer 180 – a thrilling move as that brings fans to their feet as well as any punch or kick. Buffer sets the tone for the action that’s to come. His words are an essential part of fight night. You don’t know it’s time for a ruckus until he says: “It’s time!” And you can’t crown a champion until he reveals: “And the new!” He’s visited scores of cities around the world to introduce hundreds of fighters. He’s been there for each of the UFC’s history-making, record-breaking moments as the man in the middle of tens of thousands of fans in the stands and millions more watching at home. He also stuck it out through the bad times. His unwavering passion for mixed martial arts allowed him to see its potential while others abandoned it. He kept the faith when the UFC was on life support. He believed in the sport and did everything he could to elevate it to the heights it has reached. “It’s an amazing moment in my life for many different reasons,” he says of his award. “It’s an honorarium that humbles me. It’s an honorarium to my family and loved ones that have done nothing but support me through all it’s taken to get to where we’re at today as a sport. As a passionate announcer I’m a 24/7 walking symbol of the UFC and our great sport of MMA. I say that because I choose to be that way. I promote it wherever I go, I represent it and I try to be a role model. “Looking around the room of all my peers, fighters and the people from the UFC and all the other organizations, this is a perfect example of how mainstream this sport has become. It was not just an honorarium for me. I was standing up there as a representative for all of us at that moment. I’m just very humbled that I was recognized and I’ll never forget it for the rest of my life.” He’s adored by the audience, adulated by the athletes and celebrated by his colleagues. He’s unmistakable, irrepressible and utterly irreplaceable. MMA wouldn’t be the same without the premier man on the microphone and there couldn’t be a better time to celebrate everything he’s done for the sport in this, the year of his 20th anniversary as an announcer – which is just days after he’ll bring the house down at UFC 200. Bruce Buffer, you’re one of a kind.