Boxing and MMA have a lot of similarities, and one of them is that they care a lot about entertainment. One way they do that is to have ring announcers hype up each event. But, interestingly enough, the two most famous ring announcers in boxing and MMA, Michael and Bruce Buffer, are half-brothers who didn’t meet each other for a long time.
The story of Michael Buffer
The man behind the catchphrase, “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!”, Michael Buffer is the voice of boxing, according to ESPN. As a kid, he never met his biological father, and his relationship with his biological mother wasn’t the best. That said, he enjoyed his childhood, as his foster parents, the Huber family, took great care of him.
As an adult, he tried many things, and one of them was joining the army. It was there that he discovered that his legal last name was Buffer, not Huber, and that’s when he got a hint of his biological family.
In any case, in the ’70s and ’80s, he became a model, and that’s ultimately how he ultimately transitioned into being a ring announcer.
He wasn’t great at his job at first, but soon, he found his voice. And his voice included his famous catchphrase which has since become his trademark. In fact, ESPN said that his catchphrase is worth almost $400 million. But, along the way, Michael discovered his biological family after one of his events.
How Michael and Bruce Buffer met
Michael was working at a boxing event in California, and it was being broadcasted to the local Los Angeles stations. What he didn’t know was that his biological father, Joe, and his half-brother, Bruce, were watching the event at home. His dad called the place that was hosting the event, and a waitress gave Michael a note with a number on it.
By this time, Michael was in his 40s and Bruce was not far behind. Their dad had married his wife, Connie, and she gave birth to Bruce 13 years after Michael was born. Since Michael was happily living with his foster family, Joe paid him no mind. As a result, the three men only met in person after this fateful evening.
Bruce said that they hit it off really well that day. According to ESPN, Bruce said,
“The feeling that overtook me was (A) I’m a big fan of his work and a fan of what he does, but (B) this is my blood. This is my brother. I’m hit by a kind of double whammy. It was a wonderful night. I was just so happy we all got along.”
The Buffer brothers make a partnership
a year after they met, there were already business partners. Bruce wasn’t announcing for the UFC yet, but it was thanks to him that Michael’s catchphrase got as big as it did. Bruce said that he wanted to, “Make this phrase so popular that it becomes part of American culture and on the tip of everybody’s tongue.”
That’s exactly what happened and it’s exactly why “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!” is a catchphrase that’s valued at $400 million. This wasn’t a one-sided relationship, either.
Michael also helped his little brother get into the business of announcing. They traveled to an event together and Michael let his baby brother announce one of the fights.
It wasn’t long, at this point, before the UFC was created and had a need for announcers. In 1996, Bruce became the ring announcer for the UFC, and he’s been doing it ever since.
Additionally, he’s been able to find his own voice, according to ESPN. He even has his own catchphrase, “It’s time!”, and he says it during each UFC event.