(“OH MY GOD CONDIT’S GOT THE PRESSURE-POINT VICE GRIPS! CAN HE FINISH FROM HERE, JOE? JOE!? PULL YOUR PANTS UP AND ANSWER ME!!!” / Photo via Getty)
Joe Rogan performs the job of MMA color-commentator better than virtually anybody else in the world. From his ability to explain complex grappling concepts on the fly, to his honest criticism of fighters, cornermen, officials, and ice-buckets when they deserve it, Rogan does a lot behind the broadcast booth that’s admirable. And for a guy who makes his living as a comedian, he shows remarkable restraint in not turning his commentary gigs into a constant yuk-fest.
That being said, Rogan has a few bad habits that fans and fighters alike have pointed out over the years. For example: his tendency to focus on one fighter’s performance while ignoring the other, the verbal sex-acts he performs for jiu-jitsu fighters, or the way he pushes a pre-established narrative even when the actions in front of his face don’t actually support it.
UFC 171 gave us a pretty good example of this during the Carlos Condit vs. Tyron Woodley fight, which Condit was a clear favorite going into — in terms of betting odds as well as the UFC’s future plans. But even as Woodley dominated the majority of the match, it seemed like Joe Rogan was instead doing a play-by-play about how Woodley was gassing out because he’s too muscular. Woodley, as you can imagine, wasn’t too impressed afterwards. Here’s what he said about Rogan’s commentary in an interview with mmamental (via MMAFighting):
“It’s almost like they’re punishing you for training hard. They’re punishing you for being physically fit. I think Joe Rogan is horrendous for his commentary that he did for that fight. Everything was, ‘Oh, Tyron threw a hard bomb but Carlos took it. He’s got such a great chin. Oh, Tyron has a takedown. Look at Carlos. He’s doing the mission impossible guard [mission control].’ Everything that I did he was leaning it towards the credit of Carlos Condit.