This is part II of a three part series interview I did with UFC commentator, Joe Rogan. If you missed the first segment, you can find it here:
Stephie Daniels: What's your take on the rash of injuries that is currently plaguing the UFC:
Joe Rogan: You know, you'd have to be inside the camps to really know. I'm just speculating, like everybody else. There were a lot of pro MMA guys that trained at Legends, so I got to see some guys on a day to day basis, but the reality is, I'm not at Greg Jackson's camp. I'm not at any of these camps. You have to be there to see what's going on.
Stephie Daniels: I recently saw an interview with NCAA wrestling champion, Bubba Jenkins, that stated he felt that steroid use could be directly correlated with some of the injuries. Do you feel that might be a significant contributing factor?
Joe Rogan: It's certainly possible, but again, it's speculation, unless you're in the camps, but people have gotten caught for steroids, so we know steroids are really used. I think to speculate on why guys are getting injured in a sport where the main goal is to injure people is a little bit pointless.
I don't know how Randy Couture ever got through his career without getting seriously injured in a training camp, but someone should talk to him [laughs]. Someone should ask him, 'What are you doing? Are you doing yoga or stretching? Are you just training smarter than everybody else?'
Obviously, he's an incredibly tough guy, period. Obviously, he's an incredibly intelligent guy, as well. Whatever he did to ensure that his training camps were injury free, is something that should be studied. Randy was one of the greatest fighters of all time, and I can't recall him ever getting injured in training.
What is causing all this stuff? Probably a variety of different things. There's a lot of speculation. Mike Russell (journalist) once sent me something and asked me what I thought, but it was a statement by someone who's an insider, whose take on it was that people are training more than their bodies can manage, because so many people are on the sauce, that they have a distorted perception of what's possible, and that what these injuries are, is people who are clean, trying to keep up with people who are on the sauce.
Stephie Daniels: I know you work out and train pretty hard at 10th Planet. How do you keep yourself fairly injury free?
Joe Rogan: I don't stay injury free, not at all. I was actually off for four whole months with a serious back injury. I pulled a muscle, it's called your Levator scapulae, I think. It's where your scapula connects your muscles and tendons in the back. I pulled it a couple of times, and then it became sort of a chronic thing, where it would pop out every few months. One time, I tried to work through it, so instead of taking some time off, I trained anyway, and I really pulled it bad, to the point where I had numbness in my hand and some severe nerve pain in my elbow. The pulled muscle had the whole area inflamed, and it was impeding my nerves.
It was pretty serious sh*t, so I took a month where I didn't work out at all. I've never done that. I can't remember when I've ever done that, but for a whole month, I didn't do sh*t but get fat. I did that for probably about four weeks, and then I started to slowly get myself back into shape, and I had to do a lot of physical therapy. I had a lot of cold laser therapy and a lot of deep tissue massage and a lot of stretching. It was just a matter of getting it to heal. Now I'm training full blast again. It's 100%, but like I said, it was about four months. That's a third of a year being completely out of jiu jitsu.
I've also had both my knees reconstructed. I've had two ACL surgeries and another meniscus surgery. I've had my nose fixed, because my nose was completely smooshed inside, and it was just all useless, due to a deviated septum, and I couldn't breathe out of my nose. It's not like I'm injury free, even at my level of training, which is considerably less than it would take to even compete in an amateur MMA fight.
These guys are doing five, six days a week. Georges St. Pierre works out seven days a week. So, five, six days a week, and many hours a day. The amount of work that these fighters do is just going to break sh*t. There's no way around it. It's hard, except if you're Randy Couture [laughs].
I think a big part of what Randy is, is just really smart. Randy just knows how to train correctly. He's an intelligent guy, and he's not going to do something stupid and get himself hurt. I think he also is a very technical guy, as far as his fighting strategy, and so he's not forcing things either.
Stephie Daniels: I saw you posting in the UG on a thread related to an interview I did with Dr. Johnny Benjamin, so I've got to ask, what's your take on TRT usage in MMA?
Joe Rogan: Well, it's a tricky thing. First of all, the reason why I started talking about it in The Underground (forum), was because I was very upset with that doctor. He was talking about one possible reason why Frank Mir would need hormone replacement therapy at 33 years of age, and I thought that was very irresponsible. He's claiming that the only reason why Frank would need it, is if he abused steroids. That's not current at all, as far as research and why your body stops producing testosterone or produces it at a degraded level.
Head trauma is very much in the news and it's been talked about in many medical journals, and there are many studies on it that show a direct correlation between traumatic brain injury, or head trauma and your body's inability to produce testosterone. Anybody that knows anything about MMA, knows that Frank Mir has taken some f**king serious head trauma. Just the Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar fights alone...think about the amount of times he got hit by Brock Lesnar in that fight. Full blast with those giant fists. Shane Carwin put him to sleep. Think about the fights that he's had that people forgot about, like Brandon Vera knocking him out or Pe de Pano beating him up. You don't even think about those fights. Not only that, he got hit by a f**king car, and launched through the air. I'm sure that's not too great for your brain either. He got hit by a car! Jesus Christ.
Why did this doctor stay that Frank Mir probably took steroids? I'll tell you why, because that's the sensational thing to say. That's the inflammatory thing to say. That's the thing that everybody wants to point at. They want to say, 'Ah, you need testosterone because you've done steroids', which it's true, that can be a cause. That can be a reason for why your body stops producing testosterone, but to say that is the cause, when there's a real clear case of absolute truth that you have that another cause of low testosterone which is prevalent throughout this guy's life...I mean, it's not like he was getting knocked out in private. He got knocked out on television in front of the whole world over and over again. That doesn't even count all the punishment he's taken in training. How many times has he been head kicked in training? How many times has he been dropped on his head in training? A f**king lot.
He's a world champion. He's training with some of the toughest f**king guys on the planet. That's gonna happen all day. You get in shape for the fight that he just had with Junior dos Santos, you're going through f**king war. For this doctor to step in and say that that's the reason, or imply that it is, that is really irresponsible. That's what I think about him.
There's a lot of doctors that want to be famous, and I don't necessarily think that it's a good thing. I think that's kind of gross. I think that you're either a doctor or you're an entertainer, and when you try to be a doctor-slash-entertainer, I just feel like you're slipping. I feel like something is going on here. I think he's trying to promote his agenda more than he's trying to spread medicine. That statement about Frank Mir, and implying that all these guys that take testosterone are taking it because they abused their bodies through steroids, that's really irresponsible, and that's not the kind of sh*t I would want to hear from my doctor.
*Make sure you look for the conclusion of this in depth interview tomorrow*
Follow Joe via his Twitter, @JoeRogan