Blake O’Rullian’s climb to the top of MMA broadcasting

The dream started for Blake O’Rullian when he was a child watching USC Football games with his grandfather.

Despite his young age, Blake displayed a unique ability to articulate and analyze sports. This talent and passion led his grandfather to say, “You should do that.”

Blake thought little of it at the time, but years later, the last words he heard from his grandfather were, “This is what I want you to do, so please do this for me.”

With his grandfather’s wishes as his motivation Blake began to pursue his dreams as a play-by-play announcer.

A new love

When it came to sports, Blake’s first loves were football and basketball. However, when he discovered MMA, he was blown away by both the product and the potential for growth within the MMA broadcasting industry. “

 I knew that if I really focused on MMA I could have some pretty wonderful opportunities because of the smaller market,” Blake said.

Realizing that in an incredibly competitive industry, he could succeed in a space that was less crowded, he set his sights on learning the art of MMA broadcasting.

“I realized that I could make a statement and really get somewhere quickly and I really enjoy this,” Blake said.

Blake’s BYU experience

On Blake’s first day of school at BYU, he noticed a sign on the Daily Universe lab door advertising anchor auditions. Despite the fact that he was a brand-new freshman, his audition was so impressive that the next day he received a message offering him the position as the lead sports anchor for the Daily Universe Live.

He held the position for the next seven semesters as he prepared to enter the sports field.

It did not take long for Blake to stand out among his peers in the classroom as well.

“Students like Blake do not come around all that often,” said BYU sports media professor Miles Romney.

Blake’s laser focus and determination allowed him to excel academically and in his professional preparation.

“If I could package up a little bit of Blake and sprinkle it into every student that comes into the program, we would be that much better off,” Romney said.

 His willingness to take advantage of every opportunity he was given put him in a unique position as he graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism and sports media in 2021.

Blake’s Fierce Fighting introduction

When Cody Bunderson, the president and founder of the Fierce Fighting Championship, first heard of Blake ORullian, he was intrigued, but not overly interested due to the play-by-play roles for Fierce already being filled.

At that point, Blake had already been working hard for other promotions to continue improving his play-by-play ability. Despite the lack of vacancy in the broadcasting roles for Fierce, Blake continued to message Cody with the hopes that opportunity would arrive.

In March 2020, his opportunity with Fierce came only to be shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I really believed that I had lost my opportunity,” Blake said.

However, in May 2022, Blake received a text message from Fierce Fighting COO Zack Partridge inviting him to try out as the play-by-play commentator. Blake jumped at the opportunity and after auditioning was given the chance to work on an event.

Following the fights, Blake received a text message from Cody informing him that he had earned the job as the new voice of the Fierce Fighting Championship.

 “I had never seen anyone come so prepared. He blew us away,” Cody said.

From then on, Blake was the guy on the microphone for every Fierce Fighting event, and in March 2023. they brought him on full time as the Head of Media content for the promotion.

Blake’s massive role

Blake’s official roles for Fierce include play-by-play commentary, production, and social media. However, COO and matchmaker Zack Partridge stated that Blake’s influence goes far beyond his responsibilities as head of media content.

“Blake is probably the guy that I lean on the most as a matchmaker on potential matchups,” Zack said.

Zack said he has also been impressed with the role that Blake has played in the increase of Fierce Fighting’s online presence.

“He has completely changed how we are viewed,” Zack said.

Another standout characteristic of Blake has been his work ethic.

“There are a huge number of talented people in this field. Blake is not going to be outworked by anyone in this field,” said Fierce Fighting broadcast director Jordan Buscarini.

Jordan believes that Blake’s habits and drive provide a great example to prospective broadcasters.

“Kids that want to get in this field need to pay attention to what Blake does,” Jordan said.

A typical workday for Blake includes editing, interviews, updating tale of the tapes, updating broadcast production elements, reaching out to graphic designers, reaching out to the broadcast team, managing social media, and research for the upcoming events.

When it comes to visual tools for the broadcast, Blake is extremely thorough. He begins putting together his notes months in advance.

“The prep is pretty extensive, but it certainly is worth it,” Blake said.

As a producer he and Jordan are also in charge of ensuring that every single minute is stacked out. This level of preparation and effort has led Blake to receive high praise from colleagues.

“He truly is the best play-by-play guy in the country for a regional show,” Partridge said.

Jordan also cites Blake’s influence as a key element in the growth of the promotion.

 “From a media standpoint there’s absolutely no way the promotion would be where it’s at without Blake,” said Jordan.

The growth of the Fierce Fighting Championship

The Fierce Fighting Championship mission statement can be found on their website. It states:

The FFC team is dedicated to creating a Family Friendly Environment to witness Professional Athletes Battle Head-to-Head.

Our mission is to encourage Self Defense, High Quality Sportsmanship, Fitness and Nutrition and engage in the fight against bullying across the North West.

We are here to shift the stereotype of fighting from “Backyard Brawls” and “Bar Fights” to Experiencing Top Athletes fully connect their Mind, Body and Spirit and go toe to toe in the cage.

The growth of Fierce is evident in the fact that they were independently ranked the second best regional MMA promotion if the west. The goals for the promotion do not stop there.

“We want to be a top tier MMA show in the country that’s a gateway to the UFC, the PFL, and Bellator,” Cody said.

 Blake is completely dedicated to this cause. When asked what his goals for the promotion were, he was very clear.

 “I want Fierce to get on Fight Pass because I know that once we get there that’s when the race really begins to become the best show that we possibly can be. The UFC Fight pass is the UFC’s subscription based streaming service,” he said.

Blake believes that with this exposure Fierce Fighting can become the best regional show in the country.

With these goals in mind, the Fierce Fighting Championship expects 2024 to be their best year yet. Their competitive, yet family friendly approach has drawn crowds from all over the region and fighters from across the country.

A bright future

In this moment, Blake’s top priority is to see Fierce Fighting reach its potential.

“I want Fierce to become a household name,” Blake said.

From a long-term standpoint, Blake’s goals truly reflect the quality of who he is as a person.

“I just want to give whoever I work for the best possible product I can give them,” Blake said.

Something that Blake believes sets himself apart is his love for broadcasting.

 “I am obsessed with broadcasting to the point that I almost care more about a broadcast than the actual sport,” Blake said.

This has been apparent to Jordan.

” You’ve got to love the tedious aspects of broadcasting to succeed in this field and Blake does just that,” he said.

Blake has also had the opportunity to work multiple UFC events as a member of the press. He has had the opportunity to interview UFC champions as well as UFC President Dana White. These opportunities to Blake have been a dream come true.

Blake’s drive is rooted in making sure that whoever he works for gets the best product possible. He has made it clear that while the UFC is a desired destination, he is more concerned about simply being the best he can be at MMA broadcasting.

“I know that the effort I am putting in is going to get noticed, and whether that puts me in the UFC I do not know. I just want to be in the world of MMA broadcasting at the highest level,” Blake said.

As he continues to climb the ladder of MMA broadcasting, Blake is making whatever organization he is a part of better. And more importantly he is making his grandfather proud.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Top Sports Stories

Photo Story: Inaugural Big 12 Season for Men’s Hoops

Photo Story: Inaugural Big 12 Season for Men's HoopsFrom 13th in the Big 12 preseason poll, to being ranked as high as No. 12...

From Guangzhou to Provo: BYU Tennis’ Bobo Huang

From Guangzhou to Provo: BYU Tennis' Bobo HuangHow far did you travel when you went to college? Maybe you went across the state, maybe...

Breaking Records: Riley Hunt’s Journey to Hurdling History

Breaking Records: Riley Hunt's Journey to Hurdling HistoryIt was the first outdoor track meet of the season at the Arizona Spring Break Fiesta Meet....

BYU Softball shocks Oklahoma State to advance in Big 12 Tourney

BYU Softball shocks Oklahoma State to advance in Big 12 TourneyThe bats were connecting all game during BYU's victory over Oklahoma State in the...
- Advertisement -
Print Friendly, PDF & Email