By Dave Meltzer
I want to send my apologies to UFC announcer Mike Goldberg, who I've considered a friend for many years, for a statement in the Jan. 14 issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter regarding his absence at UFC 155 on Dec. 29 in Las Vegas.
What makes me feel horrible is that I fear people will take this the wrong way. My intention in writing the brief note was to corroborate and not contradict what Ariel Helwani had written on the subject more than a week ago on MMAFighting.com: that Goldberg was suffering from an upper respiratory infection and the medication he was using to combat it, due to the asthma medication he was also taking, led to side effects.
The line that he was out of action due to rehab from a pill problem was meant to have the word "not" in it and would change the meaning completely. I actually had no idea of this error until this morning and was stunned when a friend of mine, Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports, brought it up. I felt sick right away because to me, the error under any circumstances was unforgivable.
Worse, people who were not at fault themselves (I was at fault for not catching it before the issue was put on the site) used that unfortunately to confirm things that had been written and printed the previous week in a number of places on the subject when my intention in addressing those remarks were to do the opposite. They also used it to contradict a story that I believed to be true.
Helwani has my utmost respect, not because we are colleagues or friends (both of which are the case) but because he has an incredible work ethic and I'm personally a big fan of his.
The only reason I brought up the pill and rehab line in the issue in the first sentence was because it went so widely reported and unfortunately, the story spread like wildfire. It was a reaction because I had seen too many people believe the original stories that came out. But the intention was exactly the opposite of how it read, and has since been corrected.
Helwani not only spoke to Goldberg and sources very close to him, but based on everything I had heard, I believed his story was true when I read it.
Out of respect for Mike Goldberg, I am told he will be addressing everything himself in detail when he is ready, publicly, very soon. I hope to speak to him at length about the situation at that time. I would feel horrible about this even it was a lesser subject that wouldn't damage someone's reputation. I can't express how badly I feel about this situation.