The multimillion dollar deal between Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and ESPN has gotten off to a scorching start with its first two events, but it’s very clear the deal is missing one key ingredient: Joe Rogan.
UFC’s long-time color commentator was noticeably absent for UFC on ESPN+ 1 last month and UFC on ESPN 1 this past Sunday night (Feb. 17, 2019), and will continue to do so moving forward. That’s because Rogan isn’t interested in calling fights for “The Worldwide Leader In Sports.”
“I’m not interested,” Rogan saidduring a recent edition of his “Fight Companion” podcast. “I would take this for zero money over being in Phoenix right now. Although I would like to see those fights live and call those fights live, I’m good with 10 a year — 10 a year is what I like. Once a month, two months off.”
Rogan — who has been with UFC for more than 20 years now — says it’s nothing personal against ESPN, he just recently scaled back on his commenting duties by only taking apart in pay-per-view (PPV) events.
Cutting down, apparently, was better than quitting altogether.
“Listen, man, I was thinking I was on my way out, but I still love it. And I love it way more now because I don’t have to do it as much. And I love it way more now because we do this because we can do all of this shit-talking, have fun and be silly.”
Rogan’s “Fight Companion” sees him and buddies, Brendan Schaub, Bryan Callen and Eddie Bravo, dissect UFC fights — and some for Bellator — in real time in the comfort of his studio, which allows them to speak freely.
But don’t feel bad for Rogan, as he has plenty to keep him busy thanks his comedy career and highly-successful “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast. Picking up the slack in Rogan’s UFC absence is Jon Anik, Daniel Cormier, Dominick Cruz, Paul Felder and now Michael Bisping.
With Rogan cutting back, it makes you wonder why this guy was let go.