But there are those who continue to stand by the 54-year-old comedian. UFC Hall-of-Famer and ex-middleweight champion Michael Bisping, who filled in for Rogan at the UFC 271 broadcast booth on Saturday, had this to say about MMA’s “commentary godfather”:
“The big fights don’t feel like the big fights without Joe Rogan,” Bisping told MMA Fighting. “You know you’re on a pay-per-view, you know it’s a special night when Joe is on the microphone.
“I think his insights are fantastic. He knows what he’s talking about. I think he has a way with words that he’s absolutely fascinating with the way he strings together and structures his sentences. That’s why he’s got the biggest podcast in the world.”
Fellow MMA analyst Chael Sonnen had a similar sentiment, which he expressed in a recent YouTube video he uploaded. Here, he also explained what set Rogan apart from other commentators.
“Joe Rogan is very representative to big things within the sport,” Sonnen said.
“I’ll tell you one thing that Joe does that other people can’t do. The post-fight in-ring interview. That is one of the most difficult things that you will see.
“It is hard to do an in-ring interview that isn’t painful. You go in there, the person’s tired, they want to say their piece to the world, but they’re not overly-thrilled to say it to you. You’re guiding where this is going to go…
“Joe can go in there and have a conversation. Joe can turn this into a conversation and a light-hearted moment. People are calling people out. People are thanking their mothers. People got tears in their eyes. Joe will keep it light and keep it playful.”
Sonnen sees Rogan as the “leader” among his fellow commentators and that he possesses a skill that’s innate.
“It’s a skill. I think Joe was born with it. I don’t think that Joe could teach it. But I know it when I see it and it’s recognizable.”
Rogan’s absence from UFC 271 was said to be due to a “scheduling conflict,” which Dana White completely shot down and called “total bullshit.” He is expected to return at UFC 272 on March 5th in Las Vegas, headlined by the grudge match between Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal.