Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) color commentator Joe Rogan was not a fan of the Bellator 149 mixed martial arts (MMA) event, which took place last Friday night (Feb. 19, 2016) on Spike TV. Probably because he sat through the heavyweight co-main event pitting Kevin Ferguson against Dhafir Harris, billed as "Kimbo Slice vs. Dada 5000."
Rogan called it the worst fight he's ever seen.
Both Ferguson and Harris were out of gas about midway through the opening frame, which led to sloppy exchanges, lots of hugging, and some rolling around on the ground (see the replay here). Not exactly the best representation of combat sports, but it did lead to some great punchlines on Twitter.
Right up until Harris was hospitalized for heart failure.
Later that weekend, Rogan hosted his "Fight Companion" podcast online (watch it here), where he ripped into Harris for a lack of conditioning and preparation:
"Yeah, his heart stopped. It was filled with cheeseburgers and fried chicken and orange soda. He didn't train. There was no way he trained. I mean, he might have trained for a couple of days. You should have lost 40 pounds before. It's not like you didn't know you were going to do this. How about that one exchange where DaDa just laid down and Kimbo just rolled over on top of him. There was no takedown. I wonder if they were talking to each other. 'You want to take this to the ground, homie?'"
It should be noted that Bellator 149 set a ratings record for the Viacom-owned promotion.
Dada's performance is fair game when it comes to critiquing the fight; however, Rogan's comments did not sit well with the Harris family, who slammed the part-time comedian's "overtly racist and offensive comments" on the BYB Extreme Fighting Series Facebook page.
The Harris Family is appalled at the overtly racist and offensive comments directed at Dada 5000 by Joe Rogan who said in an interview that Dada's heart was filled with "cheeseburgers, fried chicken, and orange soda", mocking the family's statement issued the previous day.
We don't recall Mr. Rogan ever challenging anyone with this amount of vitriol and ignorant racial overtones, all directed to a man who is still hospitalized.
For the record, Dada lost 40lbs over course of 3 1/2 months while in training camp where he had a boxing coach an MMA coach, and a nutritionist hired by his team. As fight week approached Dada was only 2-3 pounds over fight weight. He took this fight very seriously as evidenced by his gutsy performance. Mocking Dada 5000 with hurtful and racist comments is despicable and divisive and has no place in the sport of mixed martial arts or in our society.
Dada is on the road to recovery and is expected to be released from the hospital this week (more on that here). Rogan has yet to comment on the recent accusations from the Harris family and will return to the broadcast booth for UFC 196 on March 5 in Las Vegas.