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Joe Rogan shares experience of working for UFC when MMA wasn't mainstream - "I was wondering if this is damaging my career"

Joe Rogan reacts during a UFC 249 fight at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in May 2020
Joe Rogan reacts during a UFC 249 fight at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in May 2020
Dominic Richard

Joe Rogan has shared his experience of working in the UFC when professional mixed martial arts wasn't as mainstream as it is today.

Speaking on his own podcast, The JRE MMA Show, Rogan recalled how at one point in his career he quit the UFC. This decision was taken as he was making more money as a comic on the weekends than what he was making at the MMA promotion.

He added that he ended his role as a backstage interviewer in 1997-98. However, Rogan returned to the UFC when he was convinced to become a commentator by the current president of the organization, Dana White, following Zuffa's purchase in 2001.

"When I first started working for the UFC, I was on the NewsRadio, the sitcom. I was flying in those f***ing puddle jumper planes. People were acting as if I was doing p*rn. They asked why you're doing that and I was like I love it... There was a thing where I was wondering if this is damaging my career. But I was like I don't care, I love doing it. It got to the point where it was costing me too much money. I would make more money doing a standup during the weekend than doing the UFC. So I quit [around] 1997-98... The UFC was sold to Zuffa. In 2001, I met Dana and became friends with him. He's the one who talked me into doing commentary," said Rogan.

Listen to Joe Rogan in conversation with UFC women's bantamweight champion Julianna Pena below:

Endeavor Group is the parent company of the UFC right now after it purchased Zuffa for just over $4 billion.


Joe Rogan's podcast has caused controversy due to 'COVID-19 vaccine misinformation'

The Joe Rogan Experience is the biggest podcast in the world. Spotify signed a $100-million licensing deal with the former Fear Factor host to bring his show under their banner.

But now several people, including celebrities and United States government officials, are bashing Rogan for constantly spreading 'COVID-19 vaccine misinformation'.

He has also been criticized for promoting the anti-parasite drug ivermectin for the treatment of coronavirus. Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's foundation recently gave its opinion on the Rogan podcast.

See the statement on Spotify released by the Archewell foundation below:

In light of the ongoing controversy surrounding @Spotify’s continued support of Joe Rogan, whose podcast has spread proven misinformation about Covid-19 and vaccine efficacy, a spokesperson for Archewell (Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s foundation) says: https://t.co/MZE7RqTNxY

Musician Neil Young has called for Spotify to either remove his songs or ban Joe Rogan's show from the streaming service due to the controversy. This led to Spotify removing the Canadian-American's music from their platform.


Edited by Genci Papraniku

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