Pat Miletich, the founder of Miletich Fighting Systems and the first-ever lightweight champion in UFC history, has been added to Showtime’s mixed martial arts announce team.
Senior Vice President and General Manager of Sports and Event Programming Ken Hershman made the announcement official during a Thursday press conference in Los Angeles to promote Stikeforce’s April 11 debut on the premium cable network.
“I am very excited to be part of the Showtime team,” Miletich is quoted in a press release. “I know Scott Coker very well and he and his Strikeforce outfit have been putting on quality fights for a long time. Strikeforce and Showtime are a terrific match and I am looking forward to contributing in every way that I can.”
During the press conference, Showtime also confirmed that play-by-play announcers Gus Johnson and Mauro Ranallo along with color commentators Frank Shamrock and Stephen Quadros would be returning to the broadcast team.
With Shamrock scheduled to headline the April 11 event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. against Nick Diaz, Miletich is slated to make his Showtime broadcast debut alongside both Johnson and Ranallo. Miletich is expected to serve the color commentator for Showtime championship MMA events any time that Shamrock is slated to compete.
Johnson is currently a play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports and was also hired by Showtime as its lead announcer for its boxing telecasts. After having called MMA for CBS’ Saturday Night Fights franchise, the Shamrock vs. Diaz card will mark his debut calling MMA fights on Showtime. When Johnson is calling fights, Ranallo will serve in what has become known as “the Max Kellerman role.”
Ranallo will slide over into the play-by-play role whenever Johnson is unavailable to call a Strikeforce championship MMA events. He is also expected to handle play-by-play duties on an exclusive basis once the network brings back what was previously known as its ShoXC series. Developed as a platform to bring exposure to up-and-coming talent, the ShoXC brand is expected to be renamed. Quadros will once again serve as Ranallo’s broadcast partner during the events.