BELLATOR MMA AND SPIKE TV NAME SEAN GRANDE PLAY-BY-PLAY ANNOUNCER FOR ITS LIVE FIGHT COVERAGE
Bellator MMA and Spike have named veteran sports announcer and the current voice of the Boston Celtics, Sean Grande, as its new play-by-play announcer. Grande will team up with color analyst Jimmy Smith beginning this Friday, July 17 for “Bellator 140” at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Fans can tune in to hear Grande and Smith call the action for the first time at “Bellator 140,” which airs live and free on Spike at 9 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. CT. The event features five action-packed welterweight fights, headlined by Bellator Welterweight Champion Douglas Lima, who defends his belt against Andrey Koreshkov, plus the return of hometown favorite Brennan Ward.
“Sean Grande is an incredibly talented and well-accomplished sports announcer with a passion for mixed martial arts,” said Scott Coker, President, Bellator MMA. “He has been behind the microphone for many championship events and we look forward to him bringing his enthusiasm and energy to Bellator as our league continues to grow.”
“I’m proud to have called games for some amazing organizations, ABC Sports, CBS, the Celtics, the Red Sox, Westwood One,” said Grande. “But I’ve simply been blown away by the people at Spike TV and Bellator, and the product they want to present. I’m legitimately honored to join both of these teams, and make some great sports television.
“I absolutely love what Scott (Coker) has done for Bellator and l’m thrilled to start calling the fights alongside Jimmy Smith Friday night on Spike. I’m going to have the best seat in the house, watching Douglas Lima and some of the best welterweights in the world. Hard to imagine a better way to kick things off, and it’s all taking place just a short drive from Boston.
“I understand why I’m a story today. But what I’m really excited about, is being able to tell the stories of amazing champions like Patricio Pitbull, Will Brooks, Douglas Lima and Liam McGeary as they rise to the top of the sport.”
More on Grande (@SeanGrandePBP):
Recently completing his 18th season in the NBA and 15th as the voice of the Boston Celtics, Grande’s epic account of the two-month run to the 2008 World Championship cemented his status as one of the nation’s elite play-callers. He’s joined by analyst Cedric Maxwell for all Boston Celtics games. Since shortly after their 2001 pairing, “Grande and Max” have become one of Boston’s most popular and iconic on-air combinations, and the soundtrack of the Celtics “New Big Three Era”.
On May 20, 2013, Grande made his Major League Baseball debut, after being named the alternate play-by-play voice of the World Champion Boston Red Sox. It completed his cycle of broadcasting major pro sports (NBA, NFL, NHL, WNBA and MLS). In January, he returned to his television roots, calling college basketball on CBS Sports Network.
Grande’s reached several milestones over the last few years. Only the legendary Johnny Most and current television voice Mike Gorman have now called more Celtics games. In 2009, he called his 1000th NBA Game, joining Marv Albert and Ian Eagle as the only three to reach that plateau before the age of 40. Grande and Max were honored pre-game at TD Garden for their 1000th game together on February 3, 2012.
Voted by the readers of Boston Sports Media Watch as the best play-by-play announcer in Boston, Sean was recruited back to town in 2001 after serving three years as the television voice of the Minnesota Timberwolves. When he signed in 1998, he was the youngest announcer in the NBA. The versatile Grande’s play-by-play credits also include two seasons as part of ABC Sports College Football broadcast team, joining the likes of Keith Jackson and Brent Musburger.
Grande’s first stint in Boston began at Boston University where he spent seven seasons calling Terrier hockey, football and basketball on both television and radio. On the television side, Grande was the original voice of the Hockey East Game of the Week on Fox Sports Net. His college hockey work for Fox and the NCAA Tournament garnered him three New England Emmy nominations including the 1999 Emmy for best Play-by-Play. He’s served six years as the television voice of the NCAA East Regional. And this past April in Philadelphia, his twelfth year as “Voice of the Frozen Four” on CBS Radio, Grande called his record fifteenth NCAA Championship Game.
His broadcast career included a seven-year stint at WEEI (1991-1998), the final three as Sports Director. His wide-ranging play-by-play career has seen him call NFL Football for Westwood One, WNBA basketball for the Minnesota Lynx (1999-2001) and Connecticut Sun (2006-2007), MFS Pro Tennis, Providence Bruins hockey, Harvard basketball and even Major League Soccer. He served three years as host of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on NHL radio and co-hosted the NCAA Hockey Selection show on ESPN2.