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Weekend Primer: HDNet's The Voice vs. Joe Rogan Deserves Your Attention

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Michael Schiavello and Ray Sefo commentating a recent K-1 event. Schiavello will go head-to-head with Joe Rogan on Friday night.
Michael Schiavello and Ray Sefo commentating a recent K-1 event. Schiavello will go head-to-head with Joe Rogan on Friday night.

We've finally reached the eye of the hurricane that is the end of April. After a long month of solid mixed martial arts action stemming from UFC 112, Strikeforce: Nashville, WEC 48, Bellator, and the K-1 Grand Prix, we've been given a weekend of calm before the storm that will be May. Before you head out for a Friday night of debauchery as you argue drunkenly with your buddies about how Fedor would just kill Brock Lesnar, feed your mind of mixed martial arts goodness one last time before your Saturday and Sunday wakes you up and beckons you to the lawnmower.

On HDNet on Friday night following the always enjoyable Inside MMA with Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice, the network will air a special presentation called The Voice vs. Joe Rogan at 10:00 PM EST. While I'm normally not one to promote a show like some sort of corporate shill, I'm very fond of both Joe Rogan and Michael Schiavello as the commentary duo that has made many of my most memorable mixed martial arts events that much better, and most of our community's readers felt the same way in 2009.

The show is an informal Q&A session in which K-1 and HDNet Fights play-by-play commentator Michael Schiavello asks the UFC's Joe Rogan various questions surrounding the sport of mixed martial arts. At first glance, one might say that they've heard all the thoughts that Rogan has on mixed martial arts... but this show truly delivers in some of the very personal and interesting issues that we talk about every day here at

During the Q&A, I found the most interesting discussions revolving around the handling of criticism from fans and the controversy surrounding how commentators should act during broadcasts. Schiavello's exuberance as Badr Hari defeated Alistair Overeem in the 2009 K-1 Grand Prix Final was thought to be "over the line" in the eyes of some fans while Rogan's bias toward some fighters in the UFC has also been a point made by many fans. The fact of the matter is... we all want fans sitting in those chairs and sharing the excitement with the audience, and I think you see some real honesty and sincerity from both of these great commentators when asked about those situations.

There is also a lot of thoughtful discussion revolving around the different worlds that are K-1 and the UFC, and the significant differences between the fighters and the skills they need to succeed. Rogan and Schiavello also discuss the evolution of the sport and how the "mixed martial artist" is now at the top of the food chain as opposed to the early years in which brawlers roamed the top of the divisions. There is some great discussions on the respect factor of mixed martial arts and K-1, and a load of funny questions and exchanges between the two.

I normally don't "pimp" shows as I try to remain relatively objective in my thoughts on mixed martial arts, but this was something that was truly a treat to watch. There is definitely a reason why Joe Rogan is by far the most respected commentator in our sport, and he shows exactly why we like him in that role in this Q&A session with the consensus #2 pick in Michael Schiavello. Check it out on HDNet on Friday at 10:00 PM EST. Now, if only we can get the dynamic duo on the same broadcast for a MMA event.

Preview after the jump....