Watching Strikeforce’s coverage on Saturday, you had to switch between two different networks to enjoy the entire show. The prelims were available on HDNet while the main card was on Showtime. Though the fights and names on the main card were obviously the big draw, I have to say the broadcasting on the prelims was fantastic. Play-by-play announcer Michael Schiavello had me cracking up at every other punch, while former fighter Bas Rutten was outstanding on his commentary like usual.
Honestly, listening to play-by-play voice Michael Schiavello describe the action was like watching a comedy show. The veteran MMA and K-1 broadcaster works his assignments with genuine enthusiasm that engages the viewer, and he does so with a brand of original humor complemented by a good voice.
Seriously, where else are you going to hear fantastic lines like this?
Schiavello described a punch as “stiffer than a honeymooner’s package” and a fighter’s submission attempts as having “more triangles than a band camp.” When one fighter began to rally in the last 20 seconds of a round, Schiavello declared “He might go kleptomaniac and steal the round here.”
Then, my absolute favorite line was when one fighter was getting punched repeatedly and Schiavello said he was “taking more hits than a Dutch stoner,” which was slightly ahead of “Tagging him up more than a graffiti artist.”
Some people will complain about his commentary because no matter what, people love to criticize broadcasters (believe me, I’ve been there before, I know how it is). But Schiavello was original, quick with his quips, and his similes were fantastic. I enjoyed his broadcasting and hopefully you did and have been too throughout the years. Networks should continue to reward such on-air brilliance with more prime gigs; the Australian man deserves to show his talents to a broader audience.