Last night after UFC 203‘s main event wrapped up with a bang Joe Rogan interviewed Alistair Overeem, who UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic put to sleep in the first round. This is the usual protocol for big fights, as the fans and media want to hear the thoughts of both fighters. Especially when the stakes are so high. However, UFC 203 shined a light on the act of interviewing a fighter who had just been knocked out.
Rogan has a point, especially considering he’s been in the Octagon hundreds of times with hurt fighters, moments after they’ve just woken up from being punched or kicked into unconsciousness. It’s unfair to the fighter and unfair to Rogan as the interviewer when he has to ask these fighters questions (it’s his job, after all).
Here’s Overeem’s entire post-fight interview (H/T FOX Sports)
“Stipe was the better man today. He’s a great athlete, he’s tough, he always comes to fight,” Overeem told Rogan. “There’s one thing I can say about the fight. I believe when I punched him and he went down. I followed him, I got him in a guillotine choke and I clearly felt a tap. The ref didn’t see it, the ref didn’t jump in, so the fight continued. In my opinion, he tapped and it’s a bummer. Going to have to go back to the drawing board. I feel like I am the better fighter, but not today … but he clearly tapped.”
That didn’t happen.
Of course, some people, like welterweight champ Tyron Woodley, didn’t appreciate that Reem, coming off a big loss and in a fair, but emotional state was shut down by Rogan:
The idea of playing armchair neurologist is a fool’s errand, but the eyeball test does play a factor. Here’s Joe Rogan asking Jose Aldo, literally 2-3 minutes after being knocked unconscious, “how much, if any of the fight, can you remember?”
Asking “what can you remember” to any athlete after they’ve been knocked unconscious seems not only cold but unnecessary and pointless. Yes, emotions are raw, but you’re also talking to someone who just got knocked unconscious. There’s very little succinct and well-thought out information that you’ll receive from the fighter, so why try it?
Out of respect for the fighters, the UFC needs to consider a different way to get quotes from fighters. In the NFL, players cannot address the media until they’ve passed concussion protocol. Perhaps something like this can be instated for the UFC.