Joe Rogan exlains why he stopped doing commentary for UFC Fight Nights
Now that the UFC's deal with Fox is ending, Joe Rogan's letting it all out.
When you think of MMA commentary, you think of Joe Rogan. The veteran UFC commentator has done more to educate folks on the sport of MMA than any superstar the sport has ever seen. The sport has grown with his UFC commentary but in the last few years, he has taken a reduced role with the UFC.
Rogan used to provide commentary for pretty much every UFC event. However, he now only puts his vocal cords to work at numbered events on US soil. The likes of Jimmy Smith, Daniel Cormier, Dominick Cruz, Dan Hardy, John Gooden and Paul Felder provide commentary for the lower profile Fight Nights.
On his Fight Companion podcast for UFC Liverpool, Rogan broke down why he only works for the larger PPVs. As he explained before, money and travelling had a lot to do with it.
"Too much work, too much travelling, the suit is not a big deal because they have a suit there for me. My issue was Fox actually paid me less money."
What an attitude https://t.co/NsLjILpNuD
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) May 28, 2018
Rogan also revealed a previously unknown reason why he wanted to stop doing the fight nights. He explained that he had a bad experience on his first Fox Card, in which he was told by production staff to alter his commentary style.
"They got in my ear. The very first events for FOX, they were like telling me what to do. They were telling me to take it down a notch. ‘Don’t be so amped up about that guy,’ I was like, ‘What? What are you doing here?’ I go, ‘Listen, I do commentary. This is what I do. I’ve been doing it forever. This is how I do it. If you think you can change me, then we’re not going to work together.’ We had a real problem for the first event. It was a FOX production."
As you can imagine, Rogan didn't take too kindly to that. Once he had a word with the network, he no longer received directions from the production team.
“I didn’t like it. They want a sports guy. Look, MMA is what it is. It’s fighting. It is a very specific kind of sport. I’ve been doing it the way I do it forever. If you don’t like the way I do it, that’s fine. Don’t hire me. But don’t try to get me to become some sports guy. I’m not interested in that at all.”
"They stopped doing it after the first event when I voiced my displeasure. I just let them know really clearly, ‘Look, we’re not doing this. We’re not going to change how I do it to make you happy. If you don’t like the way I do it, it’s not an option for you to direct me and tell me to do it the way you like it, because you think that’s better.’ This was a personal choice by one or two producers or executives. I don’t agree with them, and I’m not doing it that way."
In Rogan's words, this is what he does. Fans love his exuberance behind the mic, they love the hyperbole. Trying to change that is just, sacrilegious.
"This is what I do. I get amped up. If some shit is going down and guys are trading blows and I’m screaming, it’s because I feel that way. It’s legitimate passion. I’m not faking it. They let it go after a while, but it’s not like they fought for me when I quit, either."