Veteran UFC Octagon announcer Bruce Buffer’s voice is synonymous with some of the most memorable moments in MMA history. In an FO exclusive, Buffer speaks on his history with the sport’s top promotion and reveals some of his personal favorite announcements.

July 12th, just three days after UFC 200, a mixed martial arts icon will celebrate 20 years since he first announced for the world’s premier mixed martial arts promotion. He’s one of the most passionate men in the business. Every fan loves him. Every fighter respects him. You couldn’t imagine the sport without him. If there’s someone who doesn’t appreciate the work of Bruce Buffer, Fighters Only hasn’t met them.

If you needed any further evidence of his popularity, you only need to spend an evening in Bruce Buffer’s company during a UFC weekend. After two decades in the game, people continue to queue up to meet him, shake his hand or pose for a selfie.

“It’s a wonderful experience leaving a UFC (event) on fight night,” he says. “It takes me 45-60 minutes just to get back to my hotel room because the fans are rabid, they love everyone in the UFC and I take every picture, give every autograph. I’ve never turned anybody down because, quite frankly, I remember it used to be crickets and nobody out there would say anything. If a fan is going to spend their hard-earned dollar, they deserve the attention, because without the fans we’re nothing. I give everything to the fans.”

‘The Veteran Voice of the Octagon’ refers to the ‘dark ages’ when the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the sport of MMA struggled for acceptance. But the “loyal soldier” stuck with the ailing organization during some difficult years until Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta and Frank Fertitta III’s Zuffa took control.

Shortly after that, Bu er met with White to discuss the direction of the business. He reveals the new UFC president made a request: “He said that time I announced Tito Ortiz vs. Evan Tanner, combined with my brother Michael Buffer’s announcement of the Riddick Bowe vs. Evander Holyfield, were two of the greatest announcements he’d ever heard and he’d like me to use that as the staple.”

Read the full interview with Bruce Buffer inside the July edition of Fighters Only – on sale now.