Fightful's very own "Showdown" Joe Ferraro is not only an accomplished MMA journalist, but also an experienced broadcaster who called a Rizin show last year, albeit under an environment that he thought was "weird."
Ferraro did the play-by-play for the Rizin World Grand-Prix 2016 first round, in which Mirko Cro Cop and Kron Gracie competed. Ferraro revealed on a recent episode of the "Holy Smokes MMA Podcast" that for September 2016 Rizin show, he actually called the show from a soundproof studio and not from the show's venue, the Saitama Super Arena.
Co-host Sean Ross Sapp brought up the most recent Rizin show and some of the play-by-play commentary snafus, as well as the fact that Chris Cordeiro and Anthony Birchak were obviously in front of a green screen instead of in the arena.
"Believe it or not, one of the shows I did for Rizin, we were in studio. We were not live at the event and we had to act like we were in the venue, which was a challenge. The one thing you do in that [environment] -- and this isn't the first time I've done -- is that I told my broadcast partner to crank the volume in our ears. If we keep the volume low, it's going to sound like we're in a soundproof room. Crank the volume in our ears and we're going to feel like we're there. We have to act like we're there. All that we got was the live feed from Fuji TV coming into our screen and we took it from there," Ferraro said.
Perhaps the bigger shocker is that Ferraro, who lives in Toronto, was actually flown into Japan to call the show from a studio. Ferraro said he was shocked when he found out he would not be calling the show live from the venue when he already had to travel halfway around the world, but said he didn't really care all too much as he was still able to enjoy Japan's culture.
"For the one event I did, I get there to Japan, we're ready to go, I do the research and then we're told, 'Ok. So we're picking you guys up Friday and we're going to have lunch, then head over to the studio so you guys can call it live.' Studio? You flew me halfway across the globe to work in a studio? You flew Heath from California? You could have just brought Heath to Toronto or me to California to do this or had both of us in a separate studio. Hey listen, I'm in Japan. I love it. I love the food, I love the people, it's such an amazing culture. But I thought that this was weird, but if my check clears, and it did, I'm okay," Ferraro said.
Check out Ferraro's article on his trip to Japan and his thoughts on the show at this link. The "Holy Smokes MMA Podcast," hosted by Ferraro and Fightful managing editor Sean Ross Sapp can be seen live on YouTube and Fightful.com every Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET. Ferraro's story on his trip and revelation that he did not call the event live in the arena in the video above.