Passion Drives Bellator Announcer Sean Wheelock, Who Fell in Love with the Sport at UFC 1
“This one left me stunned. The sheer impact. I was speechless.”
The year was 2010. The day, Sept. 2. Sean Wheelock was routinely commentating at Bellator 27. The fighters were Joe Warren and Joe Soto. It was 33 seconds into the second round when Warren made a devastating comeback, ultimately dropping Soto drop to the canvas.
Wheelock has commentated for Affliction, smaller MMA organizations, the 2006 World Cup and three British broadcasts of the Super Bowl, to name a few. Of all the sports moments he’s witnessed, this bout between Warren and Soto is his favorite.
And the journey to this destination began almost 20 years ago.
LOVE OF THE GAME
“I’ve always been an MMA fan—since day one,” he says.
Maybe even before day one, technically. He was working out at the gym, circa October 1993, and spotted a poster that looked intriguing. It was for a PPV fight called UFC 1.
“Is this real or fake?” he wondered.
While he didn’t initially know the answer, he did know if it were anything like the pro wrestling he’d watched as kid or the boxing and kickboxing he was into, he’d love it for sure.
The day of the fight, Nov. 12, 1993, came with much anticipation. Wheelock’s mother, with whom he was living, bought the PPV, and he recorded the fight on VHS.
“I thought, ‘Oh, my god. This is the greatest thing ever,’” says Wheelock. “I realized it was real instantly, and I was hooked.”
Who knew that his mom had just invested in his successful future?
NOTE: The full story is in the April issue, which is available on the newsstands now.