WWE SmackDown commentator Mauro Ranallo will be replacing Kenny Rice as host of AXS TV’s “Inside MMA.” Ranallo’s first show as host will be March 25th.
“I’m blessed to be doing WWE on a weekly basis, and I’ve got Showtime Championship Boxing and Glory Kickboxing, so all that was missing from my combat sports palate was a regular gig covering mixed martial arts,” Ranallo told SI.com. “I’m ready to put another piece of food on this plate that some people say might already be full, but I’m at my best when I’m working.”
“This was an opportunity to get back into the sport with one of my favorite broadcast partners, and really one of my best friends in the world, with Bas Rutten,” says Ranallo. “It’s not going to be an easy task replacing Kenny Rice, but the chance to do a show with the reputation and quality of ‘Inside MMA’ makes sense for all of us.”
“For me, being a part of the halcyon days of Pride Fighting Championships and then watching the explosion of the UFC following the Ultimate Fighter, I’ve been fortunate to be in the right place at the right time,” says Ranallo. “So to be teamed up again with a guy like Bas, and with the quality and talented staff at ‘Inside MMA,’ I really think this is just like coming home again.”
Ranallo co-hosts a podcast with former MMA fighter Bas Rutten. Before joining WWE, Ranallo was the lead announcer for NJPW on AXS. When he left the network, Jim Ross replaced him.