Bruce Buffer landed dream UFC role thanks to cameo on 90s sitcom ‘Friends’

Bruce Buffer is an iconic figure in the world of sports. And it seems like he owes his breakthrough as an announcer to an unexpected appearance on the set of the popular sitcom Friends.

Known for his flamboyant attire, booming voice, and the ability to electrify stadiums and arenas with his energy, Buffer’s journey to becoming the voice of the UFC took an interesting turn during this memorable sitcom cameo.

Buffer was originally working as a fight manager back then. But he had his sights set on becoming the voice of the UFC. Little did he know that an opportunity to catapult himself into the limelight would come knocking during his time on Friends.

In one particular episode of the beloved show, Monica Geller’s boyfriend Pete Becker (played by Iron Man star Jon Favreau) aspired to become the next big star in the UFC. Unfortunately for Pete, he faced defeat in every match he participated in.

It was during these bouts that Buffer’s voice echoed through the microphone and blaring speakers.

Buffer reminisced about the invitation he received from the Friends production team. He told BT Sports: “They called me and said ‘listen, we’re doing a show called Friends’, which was the biggest comedy on TV. Warner Brothers want to use a real announcer, so they are coming down to pick up a tape of you, would you want to be on the show?’”

“I said ‘of course I will’. They came down and picked up the tape and called me that night and told me to ‘be on the set tomorrow morning for rehearsal, you are going to co-star as yourself on Friends’.”

Buffer eagerly accepted the opportunity. The following night, he received a call informing him to be on set the next morning for rehearsal.

His excitement led him to call Robert Myer, the owner of the UFC at the time. Buffer recalled the conversation, saying: “I called up Robert and said ‘are you going to be on set? Meet me at lunchtime. I have to talk to you’”

“I met with him and said ‘Robert, I feel like a girl in high school waiting to be asked to the prom. I’m asking and asking, let’s make a deal. Let’s stop screwing around and I’m going to ask you one more time and I’m never going to ask you again’. That’s the best poker game I ever played.”

Following his appearance on F.R.I.E.N.D.S, Buffer went on to become the voice of the UFC for an astounding 25 years. He announced every single UFC show during that time.

However, his remarkable streak as an announcer was unfortunately halted when he tested positive for COVID-19, forcing him to miss UFC 267.

“My 24-year-plus streak is over, but I doubt it will ever be beaten. Like Dana said, it would take a bullet to keep me out of the octagon, but COVID got me first.”