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What’s the real reason for Joe Rogan’s absence? - Five unanswered questions from UFC 271

Five unanswered questions from UFC 271

Did the UFC matchmakers consider William Knight’s health and safety?

William Knight came in 12 pounds overweight for his light heavyweight bout opposite Maxim Grishin. Yes, Knight deserves most of the blame for his weight miss and the fight being moved to heavyweight. But the UFC matchmakers deserve some criticism here as well.

If the UFC cares about fighter safety — and we are led to believe they do — part of their job is to know what a fighter weighs when they accept a short-notice fight and to not put a fighter in a position where they have to go through an extreme weight cut. According to Knight, he was 242 pounds when he got the call to fight at 205 pounds. The UFC and its matchmakers can’t have a “the show must go on at all costs,” they need to consider fighter health and safety when booking fighters on short notice.

Can Blood Diamond rebound?

Mike “Blood Diamond” Mathetha had a rough first go in the octagon, losing to Jeremiah Wells in the first round via submission. I’m sure there will be some very critical assessments of Mathetha’s performance floating around the ether after UFC 271, but let’s not forget that he only had three pro MMA fights before Saturday and hadn’t competed in nearly two years before he faced Wells at UFC 271.

Mathetha might train with UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and City Kickboxing, but the gym differs from the big stage. Rushing to judge Mathetha on one UFC fight is a mistake.

Mathetha’s second UFC outing will be much more important and telling than his loss in Houston.

How will that work?

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya reportedly signed a lucrative new deal with the UFC ahead of UFC 271. Congratulations are in order for Adesanya getting paid what I hope is close to his value. However, the champion said he believes his contract is a step toward a trickle down effect in the UFC pay scale, and that is a pipe dream. The UFC roster didn’t see a substantial uptick in pay across the board when Conor McGregor banked big dollars and it will not see one in the post-Adesanya signing world.

Adesanya didn’t explain how this trickle down effect was going to work. The reason for that is trickle-down economics is, was and will always be a farce.

Will Tai Tuivasa become UFC KO king?

Tai Tuivasa turns 29 in March. He’s a mere child in the UFC’s heavyweight division. At UFC 271, he scored his seventh knockout win with the UFC, which puts him six short of Derrick Lewis’ UFC KO record of 13. Odds are good that Lewis, who is 37, will add to his career number before he retires, but fans might want to start a KO watch for Tuivasa, who has five straight knockout wins dating back to October 2020.

What’s the real reason Joe Rogan wasn’t at UFC 271?

Days before UFC 271 took place, the UFC broadcast team was announced as Jon Anik, Daniel Cormier and Joe Rogan. That changed the day before the event when Rogan was removed from the call. The reason for Rogan’s last-minute absence was a reportedly a “scheduling conflict.

I don’t think many people believed the reason that was given, considering Rogan has been in the spotlight for his past use of a racial slur on his podcast and the charges of him spreading COVID-19 misinformation on that podcast.

When Anik revealed that Rogan texted during the main event, the scheduling conflict was cast into further doubt.

UFC president Dana White then confirmed that Rogan could have worked the event on Saturday, but that he removed himself from the commentary desk.

“There’s no conflict of schedule. Joe Rogan didn’t work tonight. Joe Rogan could’ve worked tonight... I don’t know what Joe Rogan had to do, you guys will have to ask Joe Rogan,” White said at the post-fight press conference.

“There was no ‘Joe couldn’t work’ or anything like that. I know that came out, and it’s total bullshit.”

Now the question is, will Rogan reveal why he removed himself from the call of UFC 271? For the sake of transparency, he should.