Joe Rogan usually handles color commentary duties for UFC pay-per-views in the United States and Canada, but that won’t be the case this weekend.
The UFC confirmed on Friday (via MMA Fighting) that Rogan, who was noticeably absent from Friday’s ceremonial weigh-ins, will not be on the broadcast team as planned for UFC 271 in Houston. Supposedly the reason for Rogan’s departure from the card was an unspecified “scheduling conflict.”
As recently as Wednesday, it looked as if Rogan would work alongside Daniel Cormier and Jon Anik as he did for last month’s UFC 270 in Anaheim. Obviously something changed and now former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping has subbed in for this card, which is headlined by a middleweight championship rematch between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker.
Rogan, of course, has come under heavy scrutiny for content on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience. Just last week he apologized for repeated use of the “n-word” on his show, which was compiled in a video shared by musician India Arie. Fellow musicians Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and the trio of Crosby, Stills, and Nash have had their content pulled from Spotify in protest of Rogan’s misinformation on the COVID-19 pandemic. Spotify has removed 70 of Rogan’s episodes from its archives, but as of now Joe still has his $100 million distribution deal with the streaming service.
According to the UFC’s statement, Rogan is still scheduled to work UFC 272 on March 5th in Las Vegas.