Joe Rogan’s commentary isn’t for everyone, but he is absolutely beloved by long-time fans of the sport for his passion and knowledge of the sport he loves. Joe Rogan was doing commentary and breakdowns for the UFC well before it was cool, and well before cage fighting became a relatively mainstream spectacle.
That’s why it was so weird to see Joe Rogan on Fox, which ushered in the next level of the UFC’s national TV exposure. This was mainstream now, and Joe Rogan couldn’t scream about a bizarre Eddie Bravo BJJ sweep. He couldn’t scream when two fighters would plant their feet and swing as hard as they could. He was on Fox now, and the execs were in his ears.
In his latest fight companion, he detailed exactly how much they tried to change him during the early days of Fox, and it led to Rogan renegotiating his contract and working only PPVs for the UFC.
“They got in my ear,” Rogan said. “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.
“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’ve been doing 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.”
The travel, the suits, and the general workload of having to do 12 UFC PPVs per year plus Fox shows were also a big factor in Rogan making his unhappiness known to execs. And now he calls shows for his YouTube channel from the comfort of his home studio.
It’s not too much of a surprise Fox went down the way it did. It was awkward from moment one.
(Via MMA Junkie)