Joe Rogan may not be as involved with the UFC as he used to be, but for Dana White, he remains a pivotal member of the team.
A mega-successful podcaster and comedian, Rogan’s role as a UFC commentator has significantly reduced over the years. The most recognized voice in the broadcast booth now only commentates U.S.-based pay-per-views – and not all of them.
Rogan, who only worked six UFC events over the past year, recently has received criticism for the quality of his work. Rogan addressed those critics, but White thinks he deserves respect for helping educate fans about the sport. Other than the Gracie family, White says Rogan, too, helped inform the masses about the ground game.
“Another guy who deserves a ton of credit for helping build this sport during our era is Joe Rogan,” White said on “THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas.” “The reality is that when we got into this, everybody understood standup fighting no matter what happened. Punching, kicking, elbows – we all get that. The big thing for us was when it goes to the ground, how may people are really going to understand what’s going on and what they’re seeing?
“Because if you’ve never done jiu-jitsu, you don’t know what the hell they’re doing. … Joe Rogan was, first of all, passionate about the sport, No. 1, (and) No. 2, so good at walking you through what was going on before it even started to happen. To have a guy like him behind the mic, he was very instrumental in helping build the sport.”
White’s praise for Rogan isn’t only for his work. The UFC president recently sought out Rogan’s help when he and his family tested positive for COVID-19 and said he used his methodologies, including monoclonal antibodies, to recover from the virus.