Joe Rogan did not provide commentary at UFC 271.
Whether the podcasting giant had a scheduling conflict or simply took the night off may depend on who you ask. Regardless, former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping was called up to replace Rogan for the “Adesanya vs. Whittaker” pay-per-view (PPV) card.
And “Joe Rogan fanboys” were not happy.
“I do look at criticism and maybe some of it’s valid, maybe some of it’s not,” Bisping told The Fighter vs. The Writer. “Maybe some of it’s just Robert Whittaker fanboys. Maybe it’s Joe Rogan fanboys that didn’t like the fact that I was stepping in. Who knows. I’m not some arrogant asshole that just thinks I’m the be all and end all, my opinion is the only one that matters so therefore I disregard everything. But I am confident in what I say as well. I know this sport inside and out.”
Bisping came under fire for what sounded like biased commentary during the UFC 271 main event. That said, “The Count” isn’t the only commentator to face criticism for calling a fight in favor of Adesanya. Part-time mouthpiece Daniel Cormier also took his lumps for the UFC 259 headliner back in March 2021.
“I’ve dedicated my life to martial arts,” Bisping continued. “I am so fully entrenched in the world of UFC. It’s my life. That’s all I do. For 20 years, I was a professional fighter or a fighter and now I commentate. When I’m not commentating, I’m doing weigh-in shows, post-fight shows, all the rest of it. You name it. My own YouTube channel. A podcast surrounding MMA. I know the sport. So I’m very confident in my opinion. That said, it doesn’t mean I can’t get it wrong sometimes.”
Rogan may commentate less frequently in light of recent events. In addition to the controversy caused by his COVID-19 remarks, the part-time funnyman was also forced to apologize for his unbecoming collection of recent (and racially-charged) sound bites.
“Listen, it’s kind of crazy what Joe Rogan’s going through but he had a lot of support Saturday night,” Bisping said. “There were chants of Joe Rogan throughout the octagon. Listen, I don’t want to step in and make my pay-per-view debut because someone else is going through some controversy. It’s not the ideal scenario but it also, it was an honor to fill in for Joe Rogan, to be the guy that the UFC called so I’m very grateful for that opportunity. Who knows, maybe that’s why everyone hates me this morning. Normally, I’ve turned it around. Normally I get a lot of credit but not after the weekend, It’s like 2007 all over again.”