Many people and personalities in the MMA world will know “The Bi-Polar Rock N’ Roller” Mauro Ranallo as either the lead play-by-play announcer for Strikeforce, the former play-by-play announcer for EliteXC and Pride Fighting Championships, or the host of the popular podcast known as The MMA Show. He eats, breathes and lives his profession. He always looks for new ways to showcase his versatility as an announcer—regardless of the sport on which he’s commentating or the project to which he is contributing—and now the man who has always been the “soundtrack to the fight” for MMA fans and Strikeforce fans alike is the voice of the audiobook version of Cameron Conaway’s memoir titled “Caged.”
“I am very honored and humbled to be chosen to voice the words of a phenomenal human being who is the warrior poet,” Ranallo told The MMA Corner in reference to Conaway, a former MMA fighter-turned-author with a 2-1 pro record.
“Caged” is the true story of a young man—based on Conaway himself—who finds himself having to battle personal inner-demons and learning to channel those frustrations via the mixed martial arts world. In Ranallo’s own words, the book can be best described as “the memoirs of a cage-fighting poet.”
“It’s one of those books that will leave you inspired and really give you a better sense, I think, of who you are as a human being,” explained Ranallo, “and really, this book is for everyone. It’s not just for MMA fans or people who enjoy memoirs. I think this is the kind of book that everyone can get something from, in regards to their own inner person.”
Ranallo has always been a man who has brought out the emotions involved in countless moments in the MMA world, and in describing the emotions that Conaway’s memoirs will inspire in readers, Ranallo does not shy away from telling fans exactly what they can expect.
“You’ll laugh, you’ll feel all kinds of emotions, and he’s just a tremendous wordsmith,” said Ranallo. “I was very happy to have him on my own show—The MMA Show on TheScore.com and iTunes—recently as we’ve talked about his journey.”
It didn’t take very much convincing from Conaway to get Ranallo, a well-schooled information junkie in his own right, to voice Conaway’s story. Ranallo already knew about Conaway before being asked to narrate the book, but as he learned more about the author and read more about Conaway’s background, Ranallo became more excited to lend his voice to the audiobook.
“I’m humbled, actually,” spoke Ranallo of his feelings towards being a part of a great story, a must-read for anyone who enjoys the type of story that conveys so many emotions to which readers can connect. “It’s something I hope to do more of, in fact.
“I’d love to give more and more back in terms of hopefully reading more audiobooks for the blind and working with various charities, but I’m all about the calm, I’m all about positive energy, and in Cameron Conaway’s case, in the end, it’s a very positive book.”
Ranallo added another memorable chapter in his 26-plus year-long career in the broadcasting profession with his play-by-play commentary of this past weekend’s Strikeforce fight card, featuring Daniel Cormier’s victory over Josh Barnett and the third chapter in the Gilbert Melendez-Josh Thomson saga. Having been on hand for two events for Strikeforce already this year and having wrapped up this past weekend’s event card, Ranallo is set to close out his fifth year with Showtime Sports with the same high energy and unquestionable preparation that he used to close out his first four years with Showtime Sports.
“I’m just living the dream, as they say,” said Ranallo, in reference to his long and storied career, as well as his work on The MMA Show and his voiceover work for EA MMA as well as the audiobooks to which he’s contributed. “And so, because I’ve been so blessed, even though it’s been an uphill battle, like anything worth having is in life, I’m just right now at a place where I’m more and more looking to get back, and the opportunity to do something like this book…yes, I’m being paid for my services, but it’s one of those things that I would do for free because I truly believe in the story and I loved reading it.”
As Ranallo moves forward in an already memorable career, he already knows one valuable lesson that sticks out as much as any and all of the lessons he’s learned thus far—one that relates especially to his current Strikeforce broadcast partners, Frank Shamrock and Pat Miletich, and could be said for his fellow Pride FC commentators Bas Rutten and Stephen Quadros.
“You have to work with a lot of different types of personalities before you find some that you like, and I’ve been blessed. For the most part, I’ve had nothing but incredible memories of my career so far.”
Photo: Mauro Ranallo (Fight Hub TV)
Photo: Mauro Ranallo (Fight Hub TV)