clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mauro Ranallo is doing MMA for AXS, but he'll still be calling SmackDown

Ian Mosley/AXS TV

Mauro Ranallo is headed back to AXS Fights on Friday night, which will now feature he and Jim Ross, who replaced him as the play-by-play voice of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

His newest gig won't be pro wrestling-related, or even play-by-play, although he will re-team with an old color commentary partner. AXS announced today that Ranallo will replace Kenny Rice on Inside MMA, joining Bas Ruten. Ruten and Mauro were the voices of Japan's Pride Fighting Championships during mixed martial arts' rise in the early-to-mid Aughts.

The move will not effect his work on SmackDown, as his contract with WWE allowed him to pursue other work as long as it didn't conflict with calling wrestling on Thursday nights - something they obviously do not see a studio show about MMA doing.

In AXS press release announcing the deal, Ranallo is quoted as saying:

In a year in which I landed a dream job with WWE, my dream to once again cover MMA and work with my broadcasting brother Bas Rutten has also come true. Filling the shoes of consummate pro Kenny Rice won't be easy but I can't wait to return to AXS TV for some strong style MMA coverage!

The pairing of Ruten & Ranallo debuts on Friday, March 25, and joins AXS Fights line-up along with New Japan Pro-Wrestling and live MMA & Muay Thai events.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats