Rattling the Cage Book Review: “It’s Time! My 360 Degree View of the UFC” by Bruce Buffer

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 by Tony Reid

buffer-book-cover-e1368415469542I will be honest with you, dear readers. I eat, sleep and breathe mixed martial arts, combats sports and sports in general. There are very few books I pick up outside of this genre but within the genre I try to get my hands on every book I can. But between interviews, magazine deadlines, radio shows and everyday adult responsibilities, I find it hard to finish any book in a reasonable amount of time. Right now I easily have eight to ten books waiting to be read. You probably know the routine…pick it up, read a chapter, put it down. Pick it up, read a chapter put it down. Bruce Buffer’s book “It’s Time! My 360 Degree View of the UFC” is a definite exception to that pattern. I picked it up and found it very hard to put it down. So much so that I even took it on vacation recently and skipped the sand, sun and surf of the beach to sit inside and finish it. (Something Buffer himself probably wouldn’t approve of otherwise.)

The self made man who has become as synonymous with the UFC and mixed martial arts as any other figure in the sport, Bruce Buffer shares stories from his formative years and his close relationship with his parents, brother and eventually long lost brother Michael (who you may have heard of) to behind the scenes stories from some of the most recent UFC events and everything imaginable in between, this book is highly recommended for any UFC, combat sports or Buffer fan.

Buffer talks at length about his time as a salesman, telemarketer and eventual manager and owner in this industry of Boiler Rooms, one in which he made a small fortune. “I’d just become a member of a club that would be familiar to many people today: people who sit in cubicles in giant rooms, grafted to headsets and auto dialers, selling everything under the sun — copier toner, yes, but also stocks and bonds, real estate, dream vacations, vitamins, protein shakes, cars, and even pets,” Buffer writes. “If you could craft the right pitch, you could sell anything, because people love hearing they’re about to save money on something they most desire.”

He also shares a number of personal stories of determination and the ability to sell and market one’s self to create the life one wants. Don’t miss the sales pitch and related “Friends” episode appearance that helped land Buffer the job as the eventual voice of the Octagon for the UFC. Buffer clearly shares insight as to how he became a self-made man in many different fields from early on in his working life.

A few of the mega stars of the sport have their very own chapter in the book namely Chuck Liddell, Rampage Jackson and Jon Jones. One interesting story Buffer tells is one in which he crosses paths with a younger Jon Jones, rushed and anxiously searching for an ATM to pay his growingly agitated cabbie in front of a hotel in Vegas. Bruce lends some wisdom, takes care of the cabbie, slips Bones a few bones and whisks him away in a limo to avoid a possible altercation with the drunk and crazy cats on the Vegas Strip.

One excerpt toward the end of the book in which Buffer describes a situation with his father was particularly moving to me personally. It’s an honest and poetic description in which he looks at a man who has been very instrumental in his life as his is coming to an end. It could be Buffer’s father’s love of the written word and heavyweights such as Hemingway that shines through here because it is the moment in the book where Buffer’s words carry the most weight.

From elevator fights with Frank Trigg to standing side by side with BJ Penn in backing up Chuck Liddell in a potential bar fight, to stories of Tank Abbott (how can you have a book without them after all?) to his love for gambling and love of women, the stories Buffer tells leave you wanting even more. I would highly recommend this book to any fan of the UFC, MMA or combat sports in general. Pick it up and don’t put it down until you have finished it. You won’t be disappointed.  If you haven’t run out and bought this one it…It’s Time!