"OOOOOOOOH! He slept him!" Do these words sound familiar? Well, then you know who I am talking about. He is one of the best commentators the UFC has ever had. Besides being a commentator, he is also the host of the biggest podcast show in the world. Yes! I am talking about Joe Rogan, the iconic voice of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
When the UFC was purchased by the Fertitta Brothers (on Dana White's advice), the promotion had a lot of hurdles to overcome. The sport was relatively new to people, and many viewers did not have any rational idea of what was happening inside the cage. For many, it was human cockfighting. There were very few that saw it as a sport, and one of them was Joe Rogan.
The sport fascinated the stand-up comedian. And in the early days of the UFC, Joe Rogan became a guiding light for many fans. His knowledge of various martial arts allowed him to understand the techniques better. As a result, he could walk the fans through the fight as it was playing out.
What made Joe Rogan so good?
Joe Rogan's passion for MMA was bigger than his desire to earn money. UFC president Dana White revealed that Rogan was so passionate that he did not even charge anything for the first few shows. Now that is truly commendable.
"It's a passion. He's passionate about the sport and you can tell. You can tell he's not just a talking head being paid to talk about MMA. He's into it. He loves it.
"What's funny is when Joe Rogan was on Fear Factor, I saw him do an interview with the Ivory Keenan Wayans show. He was talking about martial arts and he started talking about the UFC. Ivory Keenan Wayans asked him about these different TV stars that do martial arts. He's (Joe Rogan) like, 'the UFC fighters would whoop the shit out of these guys, it's not even close," Dana White told Snoop Dogg in 2017.
It is difficult to disagree with Dana White over here. Joe Rogan's passion for mixed martial arts resonates in his commentary and his post-fight interviews. It never felt like someone forced Rogan on the show.
Over the years, Joe Rogan has become a household name in the UFC. Rogan recently completed 18 years in the company and signed a massive deal with Spotify.
Joe Rogan has undoubtedly played a major role in the UFC's success. However, he might move on from the sport soon. On several occasions, he has talked about retiring from commentary. He has even stopped commentating for international shows and Fight Nights. It's only a matter of time before we see him hang up his hat.Published 16 Sep 2020, 10:18 IST