Jim Ross Speaks On Meeting With UFC, Possibly Working For TNA & More
On meeting with the UFC: “There haven’t been any official meetings. I have yet to have one meeting with UFC. I met Dana White last year in Las Vegas when I was at the Cauliflower Alley Club. A couple of my friends work in the UFC office; I went to lunch with one of them, and I went to his office after lunch. Dana happened to be there, and I met him casually. We’ve never had a business meeting, we’ve never talked “We’d like for you to come here,” or “We’re interested, would you like to do an audition,” or anything like that. We’ve never had any of those meetings. I think that was stimulated from when I had done Ariel Helwani’s radio show (The MMA Hour), and Ariel asked me that question and I said “Sure, I’d be interested. I’m a fan. I’ve still got a little gas in the tank.” What the UFC does, as far as how they present their television program, isn’t a great deal different than how I started my career and how I learned, because we were doing play-by-play and trying to suspend your disbelief to the fictional world of pro wrestling. It was incumbent upon the broadcasters to have credibility and not make the viewer roll their eyes. I don’t think that’s a viable opportunity; I do not see myself doing any work in MMA. I think that having a forty year career in pro wrestling, and being so attached to it, name identity-wise, career-wise, it can be a blessing or a curse. It’s been a blessing for me because I loved it, and I still do. it’s helped provide a great quality of life for my family and I. However, on the negative side, some people just have a pro wrestling bias.”
On the idea of working with Viacom: “I’d have to listen to the opportunities that Viacom presented. I have great respect and admiration, and a friendship, with Mike Tenay and Taz. I like the guys, they’re friend of mine. I wouldn’t want to be the guy that comes into TNA and upsets their chemistry or their team. But if me or my people were approached on a package deal or something from Viacom itself, I certainly would be remiss to not listen. But to engage TNA directly – or even Bellator, because I don’t know anyone at Bellator, I don’t know much about their company – I wouldn’t close the door. I would say that if that came about, the MMA component would interest me more than the wrestling component today. And I gave you the reason why – I wouldn’t want to be the guy that had anything to do with upsetting the status of Taz or Mike Tenay, because I like them, I know they’re loyal to their brand.”
Check out the complete interview online at FightNetwork.com.