You might know Joe Rogan as the ever exuberant voice of the UFC, able to get fans excited for fights that even president Dana White might have a hard time selling.
But an in-depth interview with Rolling Stone Magazine has revealed that Rogan never really wanted to be that voice in the first place. The comedian and martial artist was a fan of the sport and would have been happy just watching from the stands with the rest of us Just Bleeders:
The first time Dana White called him about doing the UFC's color commentary, Rogan tried to beg off. This was in 2002. "I just want to go to the fights and drink," he told White. But White persevered and eventually got Rogan for free, in exchange for prime fight tickets for him and his friends. Fifteen or so gratis gigs later, Rogan went on the UFC payroll and has been there ever since. "
I think the most amazing part of that paragraph is that Rogan was perfectly willing to call fights for free, so long as he got to be up close to the action. Keep in mind that Rogan was already fairly famous as a comic from NewsRadio and the host of Fear Factor.
The article also talks about the origins of Rogan's motivations to get into martial arts:
I was terrified of being a loser," he says. "Superterrified of being someone who people just go, 'Oh, look at that fucking loser.' You know? I was always thinking that the other kids were going to turn on me at any moment. I was weird. I just fucking drifted." In Joe's 15th year, a school tough got him in a headlock in the locker room, not hurting him, really, but humiliating him to the core. A sudden determination to never experience that again led him to take up martial arts, where he first saw that he did have talents, was maybe not a loser, could stand up for himself. It was life-altering, and from there, one thing led to another.
There's much more to read about Rogan (and a video), including his passion for hunting animals, taking mind-melting drugs that are like being on a "fucking billion roller coasters," enjoying the benefits of legal testosterone replacement therapy, and an explanation of why Caitlyn Jenner is not "beautiful."
Personally, the only thing that really strikes me as weird from the whole story is that Rogan frequently goes into a big stainless-steel flotation tank that serves as a sensory deprivation chamber in his basement. For fun. You know, the CIA can set you up in a place like that for free, but it's usually reserved for rich Saudis and Yemenis.