Back in 2005, long-time UFC color commentator Joe Rogan was supposed to meet veteran actor Wesley Snipes in a possible MMA fight. Apparently, the said matchup was not just a rumor that floated around at the time.
As explained by Rogan himself in his recent Fight Companion podcast with Yves Edwards and Joe Schilling, Snipes back then was “desperate and in a bad situation with the IRS”, which led to his people to come up with a supposed plan to make a quick and big enough payday via a pay-per-view fight. Initially, Snipes was paired off with fellow actor Jean-Claude Van Damme, but was shut down by former UFC producer Campbell McLaren, whom they broached the idea to.
“He’s like ‘nobody’s gonna pay to see you and Jean-Claude Van Damme fight,” Rogan said, paraphrasing McLaren’s statements. “You have to fight someone who was ‘current.’ So he said ‘would you fight Joe Rogan?’ And he said ‘Yup, let’s do it.’ So they came to me, and I went ‘How much money?’ And then they started talking, then I said ‘OK, let’s see what happens.’”
While the fight evidently failed to transpire, Rogan revealed that he prepared “for months”, training under multi-time kickboxing and Muay Thai champion Rob Kaman, while doing Jiu-Jitsu. But as far as how the fight would have gone, Rogan says he already had a pretty good idea.
“I just didn’t think that anybody who didn’t know any jiu-jitsu could learn it quick,” Rogan said. “I was already a brown belt by then, and I just knew what happened when a brown belt fights a white belt. I just can’t imagine.”
“I know how to stand up, and even if I wasn’t good at striking anymore like I was when I was a kid, I’m good enough to know what to not do and where to not be. And if I get a hold of someone who doesn’t know jiu-jitsu, I’m pretty sure I’m choking the f—k out of them.”
“He’s never wrestled, he never had a competitive martial arts match, whether it’s a kickboxing fight or karate fight. I was like ‘I’m gonna choke the f—k out of this guy. I’m gonna get a hold of him, and I’m gonna squeeze the s--t out of him, and they’re gonna give me a lot of money, and he’s probably not even gonna get hurt.’ That’s what I thought.”