Joe Rogan has been calling UFC fights for over 20 years. He continues to do so, on the biggest shows on the calendar, despite being one of the most popular, and well paid, podcasters on the planet.
Despite his association with the UFC brand, there has been a growing chorus of discontent regarding the quality of his commentary work. A common complaint is that Rogan finds a narrative within a fight and sticks with it, even if it doesn’t accurately reflect what is unfolding in the cage.
Rogan will be working UFC 261 tonight alongside Jon Anik and Daniel Cormier (who has also received some criticism recently). During yesterday’s weigh-ins Anik spoke out in defense of Rogan and what he brings to the UFC broadcast.
“It feels much bigger when he’s there, there’s no doubt about it,” said Anik (ht MMA Junkie). “He brings a special dynamic to our broadcast booth that I’m not really sure anybody else can bring. There are a lot of these guys that are comedic, but he is the total package. There’s no doubt about it. I think he’s going to outlast me, though.”
“There are rumblings, ‘Oh, Rogan’s got one foot out the door,’” continued Anik. “He’s doing our domestic pay-per-views right now. He hasn’t travelled internationally as long as I’ve been doing the pay-per-views, but I don’t think he’s going anywhere. That’s not informed speculation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he outlasts me, to be honest with you.”
In addition to commentating for the UFC for the past two decades, Rogan has seen his stock rise exponentially off of the success of his Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Last year Rogan signed a $100 million deal with Spotify for exclusive rights to his podcast.
However, not everyone at Spotify was happy with that announcement. Since Rogan’s content migrated to Spotify a number of episodes featuring controversial guests and subjects have been removed from the show’s library.