MMA, Showtime Boxing, and WWE commentator Mauro Ranallo has been a longtime survivor and advocate for bipolar disorder. The fact that Mauro Ranallo has been able to accomplish so much, all while battling a debilitating disorder like bipolar, is truly inspirational. The sports commentator has spent a great deal of his life trying to shine a light on mental health disorders, and his upcoming Showtime documentary, Bipolar Rock ‘N’ Roller, is a raw and revealing look at his ongoing battle with the disorder. The film is directed by Haris Usanovic, the writer and cinematographer of Every Door, Every Floor (2013).
In a recent interview with MMAjunkie, Mauro Ranallo spoke of the upcoming documentary, his longtime relationship with Haris Usanovic, and the support he has received for his inspirational crusade to spread awareness of bipolar disorder.
Usanovic took notice of Ranallo when they were colleagues back in 2006. The WWE and MMA commentator recalled Haris, who was an inspiring filmmaker at the time, taking an interest in his story early on. He said he was amazed that he could call the biggest boxing matches, like the recent Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor famed pay-per-view bout, the biggest MMA fights, appearing on radio shows, all while dealing with “some serious stuff.”
He said he was interested in doing something with him back in 2006, and flashforward over a decade later, we now have Bipolar Rock ‘N’ Roller. Mauro also explained how the title of the film came about.
“I’ve always been an advocate for mental health. I gave myself the nickname ‘Bipolar Rock ‘N Roller’ way back in the 1990s, when – as much as we don’t talk about mental health now – back then it was almost nonexistent. And if it was broached, it was done in a very pejorative way.”
He would go on to share that he understands how suicide has claimed so many and that he has looked at the light fixtures in hospitals wondering if it could hold his weight. Mauro Ranallo has described his disorder as a life sentence of mental illness. He also acknowledged that the Showtime documentary could have a negative influence on his career, but thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be the case given the amount of support he is receiving.
“I don’t mind being the proverbial canary in the coal mine. I don’t even mind being a casualty. If this were to cost me some work, so be it. Thankfully, Showtime, WWE, Paramount Network, all of my media friends – the amount of feedback I’ve received? First, it’s humbling. I’ve got goosebumps.”
He was also humbled by the amount of people who have reached out to him sharing thanks for inspiring them to make a positive change by seeking therapy, and one person even said he gave him courage to tell his wife. Mauro added that he gears his message primarily towards men and alpha males, because in the world of combat sports, it’s often perceived as weakness to admit to having emotional problems, having the need to cry, and alpha males often feel shame if they need to get some help.
Mauro Ranallo also shared one of his main goals that he hopes the documentary will encourage.
“I want to make it so that it’s OK to not be OK.”
Bipolar Rock ‘N’ Roller airs on Showtime on Friday, May 25, at 9 p.m. EST, and it will be available On Demand on May 26.