Joe Rogan is one of the most recognizable names, faces, and voices in the UFC. He’s been one of the UFC’s earliest fans and he’s also been doing his job as a UFC commentator for a very long time. That said, he’s never fought in the UFC. However, he still trains like he will.
Joe Rogan’s striking credentials
As Men’s Journal reports, Rogan is actually an accomplished striker. As a teen, he trained in martial arts like taekwondo and karate. Both of those styles teach students how to strike. As a result, Rogan gained insight into striking techniques. However, he wasn’t just a student; he was also a champion.
According to Rolling Stone, Rogan was a taekwondo state champion four years in a row in Massachusetts, his home state. This was notably in full-contact taekwondo, which means Rogan and his opponents were hitting each other for real. Later on, he became a taekwondo instructor. However, he soon felt the call for fighting.
Rogan actually competed in amateur kickboxing matches, reports Rolling Stone. However, after amassing a record of 2-1 in amateur fights, he retired due to his fear of experiencing a traumatic brain injury. Rogan didn’t stop training, however. He took up Muay Thai, another martial art based on striking, later in life.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu and other workout methods
After falling in love with the UFC, Rogan got exposed to Brazilian jiu-jitsu, or BJJ, a martial art that dominated early UFC events. As a result, Rogan took up the sport himself. After years of studying BJJ, he became a black belt.
In fact, he’s a black belt in two styles of BJJ: no-gi BJJ and BJJ with a gi. The gi is the uniform some BJJ fighters wear. These two styles are quite different from one another.
Asides from training in BJJ and the martial arts of his childhood, Rogan still does traditional exercises, reports Men’s Journal. He does a lot of strength training, and he brags that at 44 years old, he could still bench 315 pounds. That said, Rogan is currently in his 50s, so his capabilities may have diminished since Men’s Journal spoke with him.
Why Joe Rogan doesn’t fight in the UFC
As Rolling Stone hinted, Rogan feared getting a brain injury as a young man, and that same fear still exists today. The UFC commentator simply doesn’t want to get beat up for a living. He has a successful career in stand-up comedy, hosting TV shows, podcasting, and obviously, commentating, so a fighting career never made sense.
On top of that, he’s been commentating for the UFC for over 20 years now, and obviously, this time has done a number on him. He’s now simply too old to fight. But even when he was younger, he simply didn’t have the desire to compete in the UFC for less money than he’d get from commentating.
Furthermore, Rogan definitely wouldn’t pass any drug testing the UFC would do for him. He’s openly admitted to using steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. (This is legal since he’s not fighting anyone in the cage.) The moment he even contemplates fighting, the UFC would definitely bust him for his drug use.
That said, without his years of training and love for the martial arts in the UFC, Rogan wouldn’t be as good of a commentator as he is today. He knows what the fighters are doing and as a result, the audience will too.