When talking about Bruce Buffer, I have an anecdote about him that I always make sure to interject at one point in the conversation. Always.

Back in 2000, my first gig in the mixed martial arts word was doing interviews and writing features for Bufferís Letís Rumble website. Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Kevin Randleman, whoever was big in the sport at the time, he was able to hook up the interview with a phone call, giving this boxing writer an immediate leap into MMAís inner circle. But what I remember the most about that time is that Buffer not only paid well for content, but he always paid on time.

Thatís good business. And itís also the sign of a good man. 13 years later, Buffer remains the Voice of the Octagon, and in his upcoming biography ďItís Time!Ē (in stores on May 14) youíll get a look at both sides of his life, whether itís working in front of thousands announcing UFC events, cutting deals for his brother Michael and the iconic ďLetís Get Ready to RumbleĒ phrase, or his life outside the public eye, where family and close friends are paramount.

ďItís a book about life,Ē said Buffer recently. ďItís kind of like Ďokay, you know me from the Octagon, youíve seen me for 17 years; now itís time I told you how I got here.íĒ

All personal biases toward my first MMA boss aside, it is a fascinating journey, not only of Bufferís life, but the rise of the UFC that paralleled his time with the organization. There are plenty of MMA anecdotes and behind the scenes stories for the diehard fight fan, but the glimpses into his relationship with his parents are relevant to any reader, and those looking to take the next step into entrepreneurship would be well served checking out Bufferís rise and his thoughts on the process. In fact, when asked why he decided this was the right time to write his story, delivering a motivational tome was part of the reason.

ďPeople have asked me to write a book for a long time, and I figure that after 17 years of being in the Octagon, Iím so full of material and I realized that Iím starting to forget more than I can remember,Ē said Buffer. ďAnd that, combined with my life, which I consider to be a success story in its own right, I wanted to write a book that was going to be motivational, so that the average person, whether they wanted to be the best CEO of a company, the best athlete, or the best busboy in a restaurant, my whole point of life is that weíre all created equal and that you pick a path. And your job is to be the best you can be on the path that you pick. I wanted to write something that let people know that if you dream about it and set your goals, you can achieve and be anything you want to be in life. Thatís combined with all the stories in the book, which arenít stories youíll find on the internet. I wanted to have a book that has stories that are behind the scenes, with things that people want to know that they donít normally get a chance to experience.Ē

Of course, with such a process comes the difficulty of being willing enough to reveal your life to the world. Bufferís path was no different, with the chapter on his fatherís illness and death particularly heartbreaking to read.

ďWhen youíre writing a book thatís fiction, itís a lot easier,Ē he said. ďBut when youíre writing a book about your life and your relationships, both business and personal, and your family and everything else, you have to be willing to literally open up your heart and your soul and your mind to release these thoughts that are going through your head. Youíve got to be willing to take that subliminal, emotional jump and give the reader what they deserve to read. Otherwise youíre just going to write a very stale book. Itís kind of a cathartic experience because youíve actually released yourself of what youíve been holding in all these years. It was an amazing experience.Ē

And just the latest in a series of them for Buffer, who also became the first ring announcer to release his own mobile phone app earlier this year. But the way he sees it, it was never just about being a ring announcer.

ďIím very proud about what Iíve done because I never wanted to be just a ring announcer, with all respect to ring announcers,Ē he said. ďWhen I started this in 1992, I was making a lot of money. I had a beach house, I had a great lifestyle, but I was not passionate about what I was doing. My thing with Michael was, Iím gonna take you and make you richer and more famous than you ever dreamed and that I wanted to trademark properly those five words of air and create all those video games and toys. I wrote pages of notes, and when I told him about this, his reaction was similar to Ďhow are you going to do that?í I said I donít know, Iíll figure it out.Ē

He did, and now heís doing the same thing for his own brand.

ďI took all the learning principles that I acquired over those years and Iím basically applying the same principles to my career because to me all business is the same; itís just the product thatís different. In this case, Iím the product.Ē

But when itís all said and done, for Bruce Buffer, thereís still nothing quite like fight night in the UFC.

ďIím a kid in a candy store because I love what I do,Ē he said. ďItís a passion for me, and every night that I walk into that Octagon to me is a new night that I need to do the best job I can.Ē



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