Written by: Dave VanAuken, Scott Johnson, and Eddie Martinez
32-year-old UFC superfan, Matt Parrino, could not have imagined that his dreams of being an MMA announcer would become a reality overnight. But after a Tiktok went viral of Parrino doing an impression of the legendary Bruce Buffer at a Jorge Masvidal signing, Matt “Hot Mic” Parrino went from being a Doordash driver to an official announcer for the Gamebred Fighting Championship almost instantaneously.
Fight Bananas sat down to speak with Parrino, dressed head to toe in a Versace robe, after the Gamebred event that kick-started his newfound career. “Stepping into that f–king ring with Masvidal and the people and everything…that’s a dream. That’s a dream that came true tonight,” says Parrino.
Parrino was discovered back in July by UFC icon Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal. He had been in Las Vegas, Nevada doing a bottle signing for his new liquor brand El Recuerdo Mezcal Joven at a Lee’s Discount Liquor store when a fan approached his table. It was Matt Parrino.
“I had caught wind that Masvidal was doing a bottle signing, so I ended up strolling in there…” says Parrino.
With his friend recording on their phone, Parrino performed a full-fledged introduction for Masvidal in his best Bruce Buffer impression. “And basically it just went viral, it went absolutely crazy,” says Parrino. Not only did the impersonation impress millions on the internet, but Jorge Masvidal himself. “He [Masvidal] hired me right on the spot”.
— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) August 1, 2021
Under Masvidal’s wing, Parrino was quickly welcomed into the world of MMA as an official announcer for the Gamebred 2 Fighting Championship. Going from watching fight events on his television to now being a part of them, he says, has certainly changed his life. “Jorge Masvidal gave me an amazing opportunity and, you know, I’m just trying to catch the ball on a hail Mary and just go for it,” says Parrino.
Although millions on the internet recognize Parrino’s talent, not everyone seems to be pleased with his rise to fame. “There might be a guy whom I may emulate…that is not very happy that I’m at where I’m at,” Parrino hints.
Rumors have circulated through the industry that Bruce Buffer himself is not a fan of Matt “Hot Mic” Parrino. The uncanny similarity in announcing style to Buffer has allegedly sparked controversy about Parrino’s originality as an announcer. However, sounding similar to another announcer does not mean Parrino does not possess his own persona. Although he channels Buffer’s energy, Parrino does not use any of the catchphrases made popular by Buffer in the ring.
“Really? You’re worried about a Doordash kid from Vegas?” Parrino says. “I understand. I’m 30 years younger, 20 years sexier…so do whatever you need to do, ‘cause I’m coming”.
Despite the looming controversy, Matt Parrino’s story is an undeniable example of dreams coming true when you least expect it; and he guarantees fans that this is just the beginning. Fight Bananas is excited to follow Parrino’s journey and discover what the industry has in store for him. We anticipate a fruitful career and support his future endeavors as an official MMA announcer.