With any good sport, there are always the commentators that fans just love to watch. For the UFC, that man is Joe Rogan, and he’s been the voice of the UFC for years now. Here’s a look at the stroke of luck that gave him the job that many fans know him for.
Joe Rogan’s beginnings in the UFC
Joe Rogan has been a lifelong martial artist, and in fact, he competed relatively successfully in taekwondo when he was growing up in New Jersey. As an adult, however, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in show business.
Naturally, it wasn’t long when his passion for martial arts intermingled with his showbiz work. He discovered the UFC in 1994 and he got hooked on it ever since.
After watching Royce Gracie dominate his opponents in the UFC, Rogan started learning Brazilian jiu-jitsu, or BJJ, the martial art that Gracie was using. Eventually, Rogan became a black belt in BJJ.
In 1996, like Rogan said in his interview with Bullz-Eye, a stroke of luck happened. Rogan’s manager happened to be friends with Campbell McLaren, one of the founders of the UFC.
The UFC needed someone to do interviews at the time and Rogan, who was not only interested in the UFC but who also has showbiz experience, became the perfect man for the job.
Rogan did those interviews with the UFC for two years until he left. The UFC was in financial trouble and Dana White and his friends would eventually buy the organization out in 2001.
Despite leaving his job with the UFC, Rogan was still a big fan of the sport and he’d still attend the events. Dana White knew this and knew about his passion, knowledge, and experience, so White, in 2002, asked Rogan to commentate for the UFC.
Rogan at first didn’t want that job, he just wanted to watch the fights because he’s just a big fan of the sport. However, White offered Rogan free tickets if he’d commentate, and that’s how Rogan got started commentating for the UFC.
Rogan commentated at about 15 UFC events for free before he became the official commentator for the UFC. Although Rogan’s gotten older and has started commentating less, he’s still the voice of the UFC.
He’s in his 50s now, and given his age, he’s been thinking about retiring from his commentary duties. However, given his passion and love for the sport, he may keep doing this for years to come.
Why fans love him
Like White correctly noticed, Joe Rogan is simply a massive fan MMA and the UFC. Because he has martial arts knowledge himself, he’s able to tell audiences exactly what’s happening and what needs to happen if a fighter wants to win.
Some fans don’t like Rogan’s commentary about certain aspects of the sport, but when he’s talking about BJJ, a martial art that he has a black belt in, he is not only educational but he’s also very knowledgeable.
Fans also love when he’s not speaking intelligibly, too. When a fighter gets knocked out or wins in spectacular fashion, fans don’t want to hear a calm voice saying what’s happening.
Rogan instead will scream at the top of his lungs and that’s exactly what fans want in those moments. He’s also developed various catchphrases that are commonly repeated by his fans in person or on social media.
On top of all that, his stand up comedy career means that Rogan is just entertaining to listen to. In the UFC, he keeps it professional, but he’ll say a joke or two from time to time. That’s something that sets him apart from other commentators who are as knowledgeable and as passionate as he is.