Joe Rogan is a talented guy. He turned a stand-up career into several successful TV series with residuals that pay the bills, introduced a podcast/videocast that is one of the most downloaded of its kind and continued his high-profile comedy career, all while being one of the most recognizable voices and figures to UFC fans.
In all, life is pretty awesome for Joe Rogan.
This Saturday, he gets another shot at national exposure for something other than Fear Factor with UFC On Fox 2. This won't be like last November where he gets just a few minutes to introduce and then call a fight that is over in an instant.
With two solid hours and three fights guaranteed to make air, there's plenty of time for Rogan and lead announcer Mike Goldberg to make their impressions on people that have never seen the UFC before.
That's why Saturday marks an extremely important event for Rogan, the UFC and Fox Sports in general. They need to bust out of the MMA bubble and figure out how Rogan can step his game up and deeper explain what's happening in the Octagon to the casual or new fan tuning in, especially when it comes to Brazilian jiujitsu.
If you were relatively new to the sport like me when you first started watching, you had no idea what 'guard' was. When things went to the ground, you assumed the guy on top had an advantage. Cage grappling looked like resting, not working. Knockouts are easy to understand, everything else isn't. Seven years after I first decided to invest myself into MMA and after enrolling in several martial arts programs, I get it. New viewers don't have that luxury.
One could argue that the UFC and Rogan have been doing a great job at this for years and I agree to an extent. I always think there's an opportunity to educate those who aren't reading sites like Bloody Elbow and simply are dropping into watch a fight or those who want to learn more but feel dumb asking. I used to be one of those people and this Saturday, millions more like 2005 me will be tuning in.
What fight could Rogan have the most impact on? Join me after the jump.
Where Rogan can really shine is in the broadcast's opening bout between Chris Weidman and Demian Maia, a fight that will quite surely spend an extended period of time on the mat. Rogan has to assume he's talking to new people without dumbing it down for the hardcore fans. If done right, it will have an impact. It's a delicate balance but if anyone can do it, it's him.
I'm positive there are those who roll their eyes at the notion about more explaining and descriptions and will claim it potentially would disrupt the natural flow of watching a match. However, this is why the UFC is on Fox. They need to bring more people in and can't assume the attention span is going to be there for people to self-educate like there was when the boom period began in 2005.
When Rogan is talking with that Fox Sports microphone in front of his face, he is to be judged alongside his peers in football, baseball, NASCAR and every sport that Fox airs. His role is that of an educator for what's happening so everyone from the rookie to the novice understands what's going on. Rogan has done a good job in the past. Now, it's his time to be great.