It didn’t take long for UFC color commentator Joe Rogan to acknowledge the recent criticisms aimed at him by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. And despite being called a “fake ass” and a “girly, high-ass voiced rusty trombone player” (loosely translated), Rogan decided not to start a war of words with Rampage, and in fact was rather complimentary when discussing the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion on his video podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience:
I love Rampage. I don’t mean to be rude when I assess things. I’m just trying to objectively try to figure out how this guy could be doing better than he’s doing. When I look at a guy Rampage, first of all, [he's] one of the most exciting fighters of all time. You go back to his fights in PRIDE like the Ricardo Arona fight or the Kevin Randleman knockout…he had a lot of great, great fucking fights in PRIDE. You know, I like [Rampage] a lot. I like him as a person. I enjoyed hanging out with him.
Rogan maintains that his ringside assessments have nothing to do with the fighters themselves, and are simply a matter of informing the audience:
When I’m doing commentary on a fight, all I’m trying to do is sort of objectively assess what I think someone could be doing differently to try and get themselves out of a spot if their not winning. I’m not critiquing the guy’s soul. I’m not breaking down who he is as a person. I like the guy a lot.
Rogan went on to state that he “wished [Quinton] wasn’t mad at me,” and that “when I tell him to throw leg kicks it’s just because he has awesome leg kicks.” Whether or not you agree with Rogan on this point in particular, if you rewatch the Jones/Jackson fight, you would likely agree that the few leg kicks Rampage landed seemed to have some effect on the lanky legs of Jones, a sentiment that Rogan states outright. But it’s clear that Rogan has nothing but respect for the former PRIDE star:
He’s got the toughest fucking job on the planet. There’s a lot of pressure and a lot of stress involved in being a fighter, and the last thing I want to do is add more pressure and add more stress. All I’m doing is trying to just [analyze] the fight…I can’t protect someone’s feelings at the expense of doing what I’m suppose to be doing, which is sort of analyzing what is going on.
As for Jackson’s accusations that Joe is biased towards Jiu-Jitsu fighters, Rogan feels that he is actually much more biased towards “very aggressive strikers” like Wanderlei Silva, who he claims to be his favorite fighter. Well NOW we see where Rampage’s dislike for the man stems from.