Posts Tagged ‘future’
Tito Ortiz interested in future fights with Fedor Emelianenko, Kimbo Slice
Ortiz (18-12-1) has not fought since falling via first-round submission to Bellator light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary at Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1 back in September. Becoming a champion again was his prime goal, but now he has adjusted. Ortiz is …
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While the whole thing felt a bit very set up (though obviously not to the point of being a work), CM Punk’s first UFC fight has finally been announced. Mickey Gall, who was a 1-0 rookie hired by the UFC off calling out Punk on the promotion’s “Dana White: Looking For a Fight” YouTube reality show, quickly won his debut over 0-0 Mike Jackson in 45 seconds. Gall was a heavy favorite.
The fight itself was very simple: Gall knocked Jackson (a former pro boxer who also works as a MMA writer and photographer) with his first combination, a 1-2, and followed up with a rear naked choke to get the submission. UFC matchmaker Joe Silva introduced Gall to Punk in the cage after the match and posed them for photos In a post-fight interview with Ariel Helwani, Punk said he doesn’t know when the fight will be, but he wants it to be at UFC 200 in June, which is slated to be the biggest card in UFC history. UFC President Dana White has stated in the past that he sees Punk’s debut as likely for the previous month’s UFC 199 card.
With the fight going 45 seconds, there’s not much more to learn about Gall. He looks like he has some pop in his hands which was somewhat surprising given that he’s a grappler first and foremost. His finishing instincts were excellent, realizing that it made more sense to go for the choke instead of throwing more punches on the ground. A lot of more experienced fighters don’t even do that, so that’s a plus in his favor. He looked about as good as could b expected and it sets him up well as a threat against Punk. As for Jackson, there’s not really anything else for him in the UFC unless Punk loses to Gall, wants to keep fighting, and needs an opponent.
Punk sounded much more nervous than usual when he was interviewed after the fight, but not necessarily in a bad way. He freely admitted that he was excited, as his long-awaited fight is finally a reality, though it’s still not slated for a specific card. It’s not a secret that a the MMA world is skeptical of how good he can get at his age without a combat or even high level athletic background, but he’s been training full time. That’s his big advantage, his financial security allowing him to not have to hold down a full time job between training sessions like a fellow greenhorn would have to.
Will it be enough? We’ll know this Summer.
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Kurt Angle Talks Possibly Fighting for Bellator, a Potential MMA Opponent, His TNA Farewell Tour, Future in …
TNA star Kurt Angle recently joined The Roman Show, and during the interview Angle spoke about the chances of him fighting inside an MMA cage, life after wrestling, acting and more. You can check out the entire interview in the player below, and the …
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WSOF 27: “Future Champs” took place tonight (Sat., Jan. 23, 2016) at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee. In the main event, Teddy Holder took on undefeated Light Heavyweight prospect Shamil Gamzatov.
The latest event for World Series of Fighting (WSOF) took place earlier tonight (Sat., Jan. 23, 2016) inside the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee, airing live on NBC Sports Network. They called this edition WSOF 27 ‘Future Champs’.
The main event was a crucial Lightweight showdown. ‘The Future’ Caros Fodor brought a 10-4 record into his Decagon debut, but late replacement opponent Luiz ‘Buscape’ Firmino was a seasoned WSOF veteran at 18-6, undefeated inside the Decagon against tough fighters like Jacob Volkmann and Tyson Griffin.
Firmino executed the strategy we’ve seen him use successfully in so many fights – get takedowns, get some more takedowns, and do just enough on top to not get stood up. Fodor tried to sweep a few times, even getting a late leg trip in one round to finish it on top, but for the most part ‘Buscape’ was able to roll and keep control.
In the third round the takedowns finally failed him, but Fodor couldn’t get any offense going either, and Firmino simply ground it out against the fence until the time expired.
Firmino spoke to Joey Varner after the fight, who was his own translator from English to Portuguese.
“I feel great you know. I train every day you know? I work with the best – Blackzilians you know? I want to fight to the belt. I won three fights, three tough guys, and I’m ready for the belt.”
Russian prospect Shamil Gamzatov certainly wants to put himself in consideration for a championship, but first the Light Heavyweight had to put his undefeated streak on the line, coming into the main event 9-0 as a pro. His opponent Teddy Holder was once a semi-finalist to crown a WSOF Light Heavyweight champion. Who prevailed in Memphis?
Holder and Gamzatov spent the first minute testing each other’s range with front kicks and hooks, and once Gamzatov settled into his Decagon debut, he put a strike on Holder that made him blink and seem to complain to Herb Dean that he was poked in the eye. Dean told him to keep going and defend himself, but Gamzatov dropped him to his knees seconds later with a right and pounded out the TKO at 2:32.
World Series of Fighting also scheduled a couple of bouts with up-and-coming prospects for the main card on NBC Sports. One such fight was a Welterweight contest between two undefeated men — the five fight experience of Jaleel Willis against the almost-newborn-to-MMA Chauncey Foxworth.
Willis made it a one-sided affair using superior strength and wrestling technique, and he also made it a BLOODY affair as an elbow to his nose in the second round caused him to spray blood everywhere around the Decagon.
Referee Herb Dean stopped the fight a couple of times after takedowns in R3 to make sure that blood was not impeding Willis’ vision, and to his credit would restart Willis in the dominant position on the ground each time. After a miserable third round for Foxworth, he went down to defeat 30-27 from all three judges.
— WSOF (@MMAWorldSeries) January 24, 2016
WSOF 27 had one other Lightweight fight on tap, and that was four fight veteran Bryce Mitchell going up against the slightly more experienced six fight veteran Jorge Medina. This didn’t last long as an errant hip toss attempt by Medina gave ‘Thug Nasty’ Mitchell the superior position on the ground, where he took the back and got a rear naked choke after just 63 seconds.
— WSOF (@MMAWorldSeries) January 24, 2016
Mitchell was interviewed after the win by Joey Varner.
“I want to get in and get out as quick as I can. I enjoyed it and it was worth every second of it. I just take whatever they give me brother. I ain’t picky and choosy brother – I’ll take whatever I can get. On the streets I’m straight thug.”
In preliminary action Alvin Williams only needed 30 seconds to put away Wes Sharp with a well timed headkick and some minimal follow up on the ground.
Complete WSOF 27 Results:
Teddy Holder vs. Shamil Gamzatov — Gamzatov by TKO 2:32 R1.
Caros Fodor vs. Luiz Firmino — Firmino by UD 29-28 X3.
Jaleel Willis vs. Chauncey Foxworth — Willis by UD 30-27 X3.
Jorge Medina vs. Bryce Mitchell — Mitchell by RNC 1:02 R1.
Justin Hartley vs. Wade Johnson — Johnson by SD 29-28, 28-29, 29-28.
Zach Underwood vs. Jason Williams — Williams by TKO 1:28 R1.
Alvin Williams vs. Wes Sharp — Williams by KO 0:30 R1.
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World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 27: “Future Champs” takes place at FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn., this Saturday night (Jan. 23, 2016). It’s the first event of the 2016 WSOF season and scheduled to air live on NBC Sports at 9 p.m. ET.
One of the featured fights on the main card puts “The Future” in “Future Champs” when Caros Fodor places his nickname — and 10-4 professional mixed martial arts (MMA) record — on the line against seasoned 18-6 Lightweight veteran Luiz “Buscape” Firmino.
Fodor was originally scheduled to face Mike “The Martian” Ricci in the main event, but Firmino agreed to fill in on short notice, putting himself in the precarious position of having only a few weeks to train for a NBC Sports Network-televised co-main event.
Is “Buscape” ready for the challenge this weekend? Firmino recently spoke with MMAmania.com about his upcoming fight at FedEx Forum, as well as his time on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 21.
Firmino started the interview by noting it was no problem for him to replace Ricci on short notice.
“It’s normal. I’m doing everything (in training) you know, I was ready you know. My manager called me and said ‘Buscape, you ready for next week?’ I said, ‘okay, I am ready.'”
Firmino comes into fight night with a five-fight win streak and is unbeaten so far in the Decagon, holding wins over tough opponents like Tyson Griffin and Jacob Volkmann. For him, this fight with Fodor is on the same level.
“No I don’t have pressure because I train with the best. I’ve fought before on big shows you know, I don’t have pressure. When you’re (always) ready you don’t have the pressure. You can go and do work and do your job and that’s it y’know?”
I asked Firmino to break down his thoughts on Fodor as his opponent this Saturday night.
“I saw a couple of his (fights) y’know? He’s a good guy, he comes for (the) fight, I like him for sure. He has a good stand up, has good wrestling, and a LITTLE jiu-jitsu, you know? But, I have good stand up, too, I have very good wrestling and very good jiu-jitsu you know? And this is the difference.”
For “Buscape” his experience to date has him mentally focused despite the short notice to take the fight. And not having lost in MMA since 2012 doesn’t hurt, either.
“I’m very confident, you know I’m very confident for every fight. It doesn’t matter — this is a normal fight. I want the (Lightweight) belt (so) if I win this fight then I come to take the belt and bring it (home) for my gym.”
Division champion, Justin Gaethje, has to first face Brian Foster on March 12, 2016. But, after that, the door is open to find a new Lightweight contender, and an impressive win can definitely put Firmino into contention.
“Yeah, for sure … I want him for my next fight! I talk to Ray Sefo (and said) if I win the fight I want the belt. I fought the tough fights before (Fodor) and this is my time you know?”
Some MMA fans may have expected “Buscape” to get a chance in UFC given he won a fight on TUF 21, but Firmino is not wasting any time on regret that he never got that chance.
“I don’t think (about) UFC now. I think about World Series, I want the belt for World Series. I don’t care for UFC. When you go to a reality show and you win the fight, you’re supposed to have the chance to go to UFC you know? But, if they don’t call me, don’t talk to me, okay no problem. I have big shows like World Series you know, and they now have a lot of shows every month like this you know?”
Lastly, I asked Firmino about having to make weight on short notice for “Future Champs.”
“My weight is good, everything is perfect you know? No problem. When you have a good mentality it’s not a problem. (I was) 163 this morning. Perfect.”
He’s got his weight right, his mind right, and he’s ready for a fight on Saturday night.
Check out the complete audio of our interview below and complete fight coverage is HERE on MMAmania.com.
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World Series of Fighting (WSOF) returns to NBC Sports Network this weekend (Sat., Jan. 23, 2016) with its latest mixed martial arts (MMA) event, which will take place inside FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee.
The headline bout for WSOF 27: “Future Champs” is a Light Heavyweight showdown between undefeated Russian Shamil Gamzatov — who was originally scheduled to fight Andreas Spang at WSOF 26 in Dec. 2015 — against tournament semifinalist Teddy Holder.
Let’s break down all of the WSOF 27 main card matches below:
205 lbs.: Teddy Holder (9-2) vs. Shamil Gamzatov (9-0)
Holder is an ideal candidate to headline a card in Memphis as a native of Bartlett, Tenn., even though he ended up there when WSOF shuffled the card because of and injury. Holder’s stunning knockout of Thiago Silva made MMAmania.com’s “Top 5 of 2015,” so the undefeated Gamzatov has to know what he’s up against in his Decagon debut.
Gamzatov comes in with the confidence of a finisher, ending 44 percent of his bouts with knockouts and 56 percent with submissions, so we’ll soon know if his record is inflated by fighting minor league competition overseas as compared to the North American circuit. Holder is known primarily as a striker, but does have two submissions in his nine wins so it can’t be ruled out, although his defense wasn’t adequate against David Branch. The likelihood he wouldn’t have shored up his game in the interim is low, though, and he’ll be highly motivated for this hometown fight.
Final result: Teddy Holder via split decision
155 lbs.: Caros Fodor (10-4) vs. Luiz Firmino (18-6)
Fodor makes his return to the North American fight scene after going three out of four in ONE FC. And to WSOF’s delight, he is also the brother of caped crusader Phoenix Jones. He’s tailor-made for this card given his nickname is “The Future.” His opponent, “Buscape” Firmino, is a multi-time Decagon veteran who was also featured on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), though it’s no surprise he didn’t move on to UFC after Dana White buried his performance.
To be fair, Firmino can be a “blanket” in many of his fights, given 10 of his 18 wins have been ground out via decision. As a Blackzilians-trained fighter, though, you’d expect him to have a formidable submission game, which accounts for seven of his wins, meaning the only thing you really can’t expect from him is a knockout. Fodor does have knockout power, but he’s also a submission artist himself (50 percent of his wins) so the odds of this being a chess match fight are high. On the other hand, “styles make fights” and if the two neutralize each other this could just be a brawl.
Final result: Caros Fodor via unanimous decision
170 lbs.: Jaleel Willis (5-0) vs. Chauncey Foxworth (1-0)
Two unheralded rising prospects benefit from the exposure they’ll receive on the main card for NBC Sports, although if WSOF has higher hopes for either man, it’s likely to be Willis. That’s because 80 percent of Willis’ fights end via technical knockout in the first round. And if his YouTube highlights are any indication, he’s incredibly deadly if he’s on top on the ground. Foxworth’s one and only professional fight to date is online as well, though, and it shows him wobbling Linc Battee with a head kick and pounding it out on the ground at 3:16. If it’s power vs. experience, though, Willis has the competitive edge.
Final result: Jaleel Willis via technical knockout in the second round
145 lbs.: Jorge Medina (4-2) vs. Bryce Mitchell (4-0)
In another pair of fighters with nothing to lose and a great platform to showcase themselves, these Featherweight up-and-comers come along at an ideal time given Lance Palmer just lost the title and a new crop of talent may want to vault ahead of him in line to face Alexandre de Almeida. Medina comes in with zero knockouts and three submissions, and his weapon of choice is the rear-naked choke. The undefeated Mitchell has won all of his fights via submission and “Thug Nasty” likes the rear-naked choke, too, getting it 75 percent of the time. Unlike our Welterweight fight this one is virtually a coin flip.
Final result: Bryce Mitchell via unanimous decision
That’s a wrap!
Remember: MMAmania.com will deliver live coverage of WSOF 27: “Future Champs” on Saturday night (Jan. 23, 2016), with the first televised fight taking place at 9 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.
See you then!
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“The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America” will be changing locales to film the third season of the reality series.
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Fightweets: Ronda Rousey's future and UFC 200
@KevinGiron217: Is UFC 200 taking a big hit by not having Ronda Rousey on the card in terms of viewership by the casual fan? Of course it does. The whole reason why the idea that Rousey's rematch with Holly Holm seemed such a no-brainer for UFC 200 …
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Kenny Florian breaks down Dillashaw-Cruz title fight, a 'peek into future of MMA'
Bantamweight champ Dillashaw (12-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) and former titleholder Cruz (20-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) meet at Boston's TD Garden, a short drive from Florian's hometown in Westwood, Mass. The card airs on FOX Sports 1 following early prelims on UFC …
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For those in the know, MMA was a beautiful spectacle, the ultimate expression of humanity’s mastery of the body, mind and spirit. Fighting can reach across culture, religion and race to unite us. But that doesn’t mean it’s self-explanatory.
At the purest level, games are simple. Who can run or swim the fastest? Who is strongest? Who can throw this object the furthest? These Olympian struggles require little from the audience. We can simply sit back and marvel at the human body pushed to its limits.
As the games get more complicated, the role of the announcer becomes more and more important. The games still seem simple—but there is a lot going on to make them seem so.
In most sports, the color commentator role is filled by a former player, a stalwart of the gridiron or the jump-shooter extraordinaire. Think Troy Aikman or Steve Kerr. They’ve been there before, in the muck, and can relay the athlete’s experience to the audience living vicariously.
If there’s no athlete to fit the bill, the buck is passed to a former coach, an analytical mind capable of parsing the nuances of the fast-moving sport he has given his life to.
In MMA, those things didn’t exist. There was no former athlete to walk fans through positional hierarchy on the ground. Even today, the earliest pioneers such as Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie are still actively competing themselves.
Into that void came Joe Rogan. A stand-up comedian best known as the host of Fear Factor, Rogan was on the surface an odd choice for the assignment. But his infectious enthusiasm and obvious knowledge soon won fans over.
For 14 years, he’s been the voice of the Octagon, taking millions of new fans by the hand and guiding them through the Byzantine world of MMA. At the same time, he’s continued his life as a comedian, releasing a number of successful specials and hosting one of the world’s most popular podcasts.
Occasionally, however, those worlds collide, as witnessed last December when Rogan hosted his UFC boss Dana White on his show. An insensitive joke at the expense of Cris “Cyborg” Justino was widely condemned, most notably by my colleague Sydnie Jones.
Much has changed since Rogan’s early days with the UFC. What was once an underground spectacle held in small towns such as Dothan, Alabama, has become a corporate phenomenon, with Good Morning America replacing Full Contact Fighter as the news source of the day.
Does Rogan still fit in this new-era UFC? Or will he have to choose between two successful careers? He sat down with Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Snowden to discuss what the future may hold.
Bleacher Report: It is Joe Rogan. How are you doing, man?
Joe Rogan: What’s up, buddy? How are you?
B/R: I’m doing fantastic. I hope you are too. I know we roughed you up a bit in an article recently, and I wanted to get your take on it.
The basic premise, as I read it, was that Joe Rogan needs to be more cognizant of the impact that his words might have once they leave his mind and his mouth. Do you think that’s fair?
Rogan: I think the premise is fair, sure. It’s always good to be cognizant of the words that come out of your mouth. Where I took exception—I think she was being very dishonest with a lot of what she was doing, by quote mining podcasts and Twitter and all those different things.
You can do that, and you could piece together some argument that I say a lot of stupid s–t, and I absolutely do. Over the course of X amount of years and 700-plus three-hour podcasts, and who knows how many f–king tweets and all kinds of other s–t.
I mean no doubt about it.
B/R: But you don’t think it’s representative of you in some meaningful way?
Rogan: We’re pretending that human interaction and human language doesn’t have any subtlety to it and that there’s no variables as to your intent when you’re saying things. You could say some really ridiculous s–t under the guise of humor, and I accept it because I know that what you’re trying to do is entertain. You’re not trying to make a statement of fact. You’re not filling out an affidavit, OK? You’re not putting your hand on a Bible and swearing these are my actual thoughts. You’re trying to entertain. And that is what a joke is.
The problem is when someone’s singing a song, it’s quite obvious that they’re singing a song. They’re trying to entertain. When someone says something, whether it’s in text, like in a tweet, or whether it’s in a conversation and you type it out as text, if you take out the context of what they’re trying to do, you could take a lot of the jokes that people say and make it seem way worse than what it actually is. And that’s what people love to do when they are recreationally outraged.
Rogan: In one I said about I view women that don’t like kids the way I view dogs that like to eat their own s–t. The context of that tweet, I was at a restaurant, and I was with my friend who was with his kids. And his kids are like really well-behaved.
This woman was just looking at his kids with disgust and she said to her friend at a level that I could hear, “I f–king hate kids.”
“I f–king hate kids.” And she’s like shaking her head back and forth. And I was like, ugh, that’s so disturbing to hear a woman say that about like a little human being. And I understand if you don’t have them that you would think that they’re annoying. I get it. I mean I was guilty of that when I was young. I thought kids were annoying. But it’s just—there’s something about it coming out of this woman’s mouth. It’s sexist. It’s sexist certainly to say, woman, a woman, but it was an honest reaction, and I just put it in a tweet because I was just like, ugh.
But then like feminist bloggers have blogged about it. It’s been like the subject of like whole articles that they wrote, a f–king tweet that I wrote on like three glasses of wine in Santa Barbara at some f–king restaurant. You know you can do that with me if you really want to, if you want to quote mine and find a bunch of s–t that I said that’s stupid.
B/R: Do you buy the idea that it’s bad for the sport somehow? Your comedy?
Rogan: You know, you could say that any other sport, that I would be fired. Probably good, probably true. But guess what, I wouldn’t work for any other sport.
There’s a lot of other examples of similar jobs where you wouldn’t be able to get away with what I really get away with. But I’m a cage-fighting commentator. And if you get offended by jokes—I have a hard time taking people seriously that want to try to pass off jokes as fact or a statement.
You know and I think that’s a lot of what these “social justice warriors,” people that are recreationally outraged. That’s what they do. Instead of going “eh, he was just f–king around, he’s telling a joke,” they go, “oh, I got one. ” And then they write it down, and they run with it. It’s bulls–t, because they know and you know that it’s a joke.
B/R: The way I see it is there’s a general disconnect between you and critics. They buy into this premise that comedy shouldn’t make fun of people.
I think like comedy is great when it shatters someone’s dignity absolutely. Most often in your humor, and in anyone’s comedy, the person telling the joke is the butt of the joke. And that’s OK.
But sometimes it’s somebody else, like a celebrity or an idea. And there seems to be a growing sentiment that, well, you shouldn’t do that. You shouldn’t make fun of anybody?
Rogan: That’s absolutely foolish. I mean they’re fools.
I think that speaks to their intent when they’re critiquing. What they’re trying to do is they’re trying to censor you. They’re trying to silence you and censor you, and they’re trying to do it with shame. That was the whole reason why she takes all these things over the course of several years and compiles them into one article.
You’re trying to shame someone into changing their behavior to suit what you think their behavior should be like. I saw one of the tweets that she wrote like saying that someone should never joke about someone’s appearance. Like, what? Says who? Says who?
B/R: Says Twitter.
Rogan: I think that these people that say these things, they are either not a fan of comedy or they’re not a fan of certain types of comedy. They think that somehow comedy should be without victims.
But comedy is comedy. If it is funny, it is funny. And you know there’s some things that you’re gonna find funny that I won’t, and there are certain things that my friends would say that would hurt my feelings, and I don’t find funny. I don’t have to. But I don’t want to censor them.
This is what you should joke about—all things that are funny. All things. Including things about yourself, which I do all the time.
I’m f–king brutal when I make fun of myself. I do it all the time. You know, and if I was a sensitive person and I wasn’t me, I would be offended at me. That’s stand-up comedy, you know? That’s human.
In a lot of ways, humor, although it’s uncomfortable for people, it exposes truths that people are trying to hide and close off. And sometimes those truths being exposed to you is healthy. It’s actually good for you, and it’s good for other people as well.
I think when you don’t make fun of something, when you put something off limits, that’s when it has all this power because it’s like the elephant in the room that everyone knows about and no one is discussing. And I think that actually gives things more power when you don’t talk about them openly.
B/R: I’m reading this book The Comedians by Kliph Nesteroff. It’s tracking comedy from the vaudeville era to podcasts today. And like he has this idea that there’s like a generational gap in comedy, so like people who grew up on Bob Newhart or Jay Leno maybe aren’t gonna appreciate Louis C.K. or Chris Rock.
Maybe there’s like a millennial generation who aren’t gonna appreciate the people who came before them? Are these just generational and cultural differences rearing their heads?
Rogan: I don’t think so. It’s not a cultural gap. It’s an ideology.
The people that are doing this, if you follow them, they’re the same people that take these cookie-cutter ideologies, like they have these predetermined patterns of thinking and behavior, and you’re not allowed to stray outside those lines. Fill in whatever is the most current political or social cause you’re supposed to get behind.
And there’s good things to that. I think a lot of what we’re seeing with this outrage that people have about the social climate and attitudes about certain topics, I think ultimately they’re good, even though they’re kind of detrimental to the art form of stand-up comedy.
I think they’re good because I think we live in a time where it’s easier to live than it’s ever been before. It’s an amazing time. We’re experiencing the lowest murder rate today than any time in the last 50 years and possibly ever in human history. Right now is the safest time to live ever. And because of that, people have more time to come up with s–t to complain about that doesn’t make any sense.
I think it’s also people are more aware of all sorts of horrible things that are going on in the world than they ever have been before. We’re more aware of the power of thoughts and of the way we perceive things in our culture than we ever have before.
That’s why, even though I disagree with it, you’re seeing this ban on words, even innocuous ones like bossy. I think the idea behind it is kind of bulls–t, but I think there is like a pull to do these things because people are genuinely thinking that the world is changing. And despite all the horrible s–t that you see in the news, that seems to be true.
B/R: So bringing it back around, I guess, when your worlds collide like they did with the Cyborg joke, do you think it demands a different approach? When your comedy is MMA-focused? You might have to commentate a Cris Cyborg fight one day. Do have a different professional obligation to play it straight?
Rogan: Ultimately, this was an area where my two professions collided and I went on impulse, and that impulse was to go for a laugh. I would chalk the whole thing up on my part to a combination of poor decision-making, alcohol and the environment that I was having the conversation in which is a podcast with two comedians going for the joke. It’s a situation where my two separate professions collided and I failed to navigate them correctly. I f–ked up, plain and simple.
I certainly think, especially in retrospect that I do have a different professional obligation when I’m making a joke about a fighter that I might have to commentate on. Obviously, in the moment, alcohol and all, I didn’t consider it, and I f–ked up… Being a stand-up comedian and a fight commentator at the same time is tricky business. Maybe too tricky.
B/R: Is it hard sometimes not to bring up things like drug suspensions and other negative things that rarely seem to make UFC broadcasts?
Rogan: One thing that you never hear me talk about during the broadcast is testosterone replacement therapy. I had to bite my f–king tongue when Vitor Belfort was fighting Chris Weidman because I think as a fan and as an analyst it is my job to point out issues with the sport, significant issues.
Like if someone had undergone a strength and conditioning routine and all the sudden they started putting on all this muscle and you started seeing them having better performances inside the Octagon, you’d say like, “Hey, Nate Diaz has really stepped up his strength and conditioning, and you can see the results physically in him and you can see the results.” That would be a pertinent issue, right?
Rogan: That would be something that we would all want to discuss when you’re talking about how a fighter would perform inside the Octagon. But when it comes to performance-enhancing drugs like testosterone or things like that, we were supposed to give it a cursory mention. And that’s it.
I think that is disingenuous, and I think it does a discredit to the overall analysis of the competition itself. And I…
B/R: Do you ever do any pushback? I assume you have the producer saying like, “Hey, you know, tread lightly.”
Rogan: No, no, no. They don’t do that. But the UFC has told me to not bring it up. That’s it.
They don’t want to touch it. They want to leave it alone, and they want to leave it up to USADA and Nevada State Athletic Commission, and they just want to talk about the fighter’s skill and how they perform inside the Octagon.
B/R: Is it hard for you to maintain the credibility I feel like you’ve built up by telling us the truth for 14 years. Is it hard for you to step back and not say what you want to say?
Rogan: Only in that regard. And that’s why I talk about it on the podcast all the time. And I’m not gonna stop doing that ever. I’m just not.
And if the UFC ever said, “Hey, you gotta stop drinking and talking shit about people doing testosterone,” I’d be like, well, this is where we part ways. I’m not going to.
If you want me, while I’m working for you, to not bring up one aspect of this, if that is your choice, I don’t have a problem with that. But if it gets more hairy than that, I’m out.
B/R: I know you’ve said that when your contract expires, you’re not sure you want to keep doing this with UFC. Is it the things like this that have kind of led you in that direction?
Rogan: Potentially. It’s potentially confusing to people, I think. But in all fairness, the UFC has never given me a hard time about it. They didn’t give me a hard time about the Cris Cyborg joke; they really don’t ever give me a hard time about anything.
Overall, they’re amazing to work for. It’s a real pleasure.
I really couldn’t ask for more understanding or open-minded employers in that regard, and being able to do what I do for the UFC really is a huge honor and a position that I deeply respect.
I don’t think that this could ever work out the way it does if I didn’t start with them in the beginning. I mean, if they just hired me last month and I cracked an unfortunate joke while drinking booze on a podcast with the president of the company about one of his female fighters having a d–k, I think I would be rightly fired.
B/R: It sounds like you’re legitimately thinking about calling it a day?
Rogan: I’m probably gonna think about this over the next few months, what I would be happiest doing. I would always be a fan of the UFC. I don’t think it necessarily makes me more of a fan to do commentary. You know, I mean I think I do it professionally, and it’s fun and I enjoy it, but I’d probably enjoy it just as much, if not more, if I was just watching.
B/R: The commentary gig is not so easy, is it?
Rogan: I’m juggling a million different things. I’m trying to be entertaining, I’m trying to accurately assess the movement of the fighters and see if I can find patterns to analyze their strategy, I’m trying to see what they’re doing wrong, I’m observing fatigue, observing flaws in their technique, I’m observing amazing technique and dominant performances, and I’m trying to put that into words to give it honor, to honor it, rather, with my commentary, to try to capture the moment in as entertaining and as concise a way as possible.
So there’s a lot of s–t going on while you’re doing commentary. And that’s one of the reasons why I try not to say who won a round because while you’re talking and you’re doing your best to do commentary, you’re not shutting up and just watching and writing things down. You’re also concentrating on being entertaining.
You know it’s a very exhausting thing. It seems like it wouldn’t be, but at the end of a hard night of fights, I’m spent. Six hours of commentary requires a lot of energy and focus.
B/R: Every other comedian in this role, I’m thinking specifically of Dennis Miller on Monday Night Football here, flamed out. Why do you think you’ve lasted?
Rogan: You know why it was dog shit? Because Dennis Miller tried to just—he tried to just shove jokes in. You know I’ll go 10 UFCs without even an attempt at saying something funny. You know I’m not just trying to be funny.
When I do the UFC, I mean all I’m trying to do is do that. I mean I’m not trying to be a comedian doing UFC commentary, but it’s also like when I’m a comedian outside of that and someone wants to interject the two of them, I think the only place where they really truly collide was like the Cris Cyborg joke or things like that. Like, that’s when they collide, when I’m making fun of someone in a mean or a f–ked-up way, that I will have to eventually do commentary on.
But if I do do commentary on them, I will do my very best to honor what they’re doing inside the Octagon… I think if it interfered with my performance in the actual commentary itself, that would be an issue.
I’m very diligent about that when it comes to doing my best. I mean, you can like my commentary or not like my commentary, but understand when I do it, I’m doing the very best job that I can.
B/R: It’s been a crazy 14 years, and it’s been cool to have you kind of like as our guide through the whole thing. But that’s a long time to do anything.
Rogan: Well, thank you, man. I would enjoy it, even if I quit. I’ve enjoyed it up until now.
It’s a long time to do anything. I haven’t even made any real decisions. I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m gonna do. But that’s where my head is at. And again, I don’t want to disrespect this sport in any way.
B/R: Yeah, I understand that. But I think it’s kind of cool that you have UFC Joe Rogan and you’ve got podcast Joe Rogan, and they’re doing different things. And it’s cool to have different facets of your life. You know so many people are so one-dimensional, you know?
Rogan: Well, I’m just really lucky that there’s a bunch of stuff that I like to do that I can actually do for a living. And that’s really what it boils down to. It’s just I got super lucky that the things that I enjoy, they’ve become occupations. You know?
Jonathan Snowden covers combat sports for Bleacher Report. This interview has been edited for time and clarity.
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