Commentator Mauro Ranallo has had many different ventures in his career. Currently calling the action for boxing, Bellator MMA and WWE’s NXT brand, Ranallo has also served as a play-by-play man for PRIDE Fighting Championships, EliteXC and Strikeforce.
But despite calling fights, Ranallo goes through a fight of his own inside himself. His battle and life’s journey is told in the Showtime documentary Bipolar Rock ‘N Roller, which premiered yesterday. Days before the premiere, however, Ranallo stopped by The MMA Hour to discuss his life, career and mental illness with host Ariel Helwani.
“It’s becoming more obvious that people are beginning to understand that, wow, we have to start doing something because people are dying really for no reason,” Ranallo said. “That’s the case. Talking about it can save a life. If people actually understood that, we’d be in a better place than we are.”
Ranallo’s mental health struggles began in 1989, when he was 19, following the death of his best friend. Ranallo has since been in and out of the hospital multiple times. But since landing the gig as PRIDE announcer in 2003, he has called many legendary boxing and MMA moments from the rise of Kimbo Slice to being the voice of Floyd Mayweather’s fights with Manny Pacquiao and Conor McGregor.
Ranallo is known for his active, sometimes over-the-top commentary style, emphasizing fighters and moves with similes and metaphors filled with unique comparisons and pop-culture references, along with his catchphrase of “Mamma Mia!” The main events he has called include a “who’s who” of even more stars from Ronda Rousey, to Anthony Joshua, to John Cena.
“It’s a chance to do something that I think is unprecedented in terms of this kind of story, in terms of someone willing to showcase everything about my life and my struggle as it were,” Ranallo said. “But because I’ve now achieved a certain platform with Showtime, WWE and Paramount Network, the time was right.”
You can watch the full interview in the video player above.
Original Story: MMA Fighting