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A Love Letter to Joe Rogan

In the post-fight medical light of Josh Koscheck’s potentially career-ending broken orbital bone, there have been a few grumblings and mumblings across the internets that Joe Rogan was irresponsible to rail against the doctor potentially stopping the fight. (“Get out of there, Kris Kringle.”) And in a perfect world they have a strong point. A ringside doctor should have the freedom to stop a fight without pressure from a glowering referee (e.g. “Too much Herb” Dean) or a commentator insulting – even amusingly – his snow-white facial hair.

However, the point rests on the assumption that the doctor is qualified to make such a decision. This is not a perfect world; it’s the NSAC’s world and patronage is its game.

Rogan must have taken one look at “that Kris Kringle dude” and thought, “Oh shit, here we go again.” Not one week earlier Joe had let blast a stem-winding rant against the NSAC’s incompetence. It was the most important one since Dana’s do-you-want-to-be-a-fucking-fighter? When Rogan called out Keith Kizer by name, you could almost hear Goldberg’s intake of breath. As we all know from Big John’s case, criticizing the NSAC is a banish-able offense.

But unlike Big John, who had left the UFC and thus become persona non grata, Rogan is a friend of Dana, and FoDs can do no wrong. This allows him to be the most honest guy in MMA today. Also, unlike everyone else in the organization, he was famous before the UFC blew up and could easily get a better paying gig watching morons eat worms.

But it’s not his bracing, stand-up-comedian bullshit-calling, nor his passion for explaining the intricacies of the ground game, that make me a Joe Rogan nuthugger. It was what happened when I met him.

Last year, I was at Tuff-N-Uff’s “Tuff Girls,” the first all-women’s amateur MMA card. It was held the night before UFC 100. That weekend Vegas was MMA insane. 7,000 fans attended the weigh-ins. I couldn’t even get into the Expo it was so full. In all this frenzy, Joe Rogan along with one of the TapouT guys (Screech?—I can never remember which clown is which) walked into The Orleans’ auditorium and sat in the front row.

I figured he was making an appearance and would soon leave. But he sat there for fight after fight. And I must say, even though I fully support WMMA, most of the matches were difficult to watch—barely above catfight level. Even my wife, who is all for women breaking into  male-dominated worlds, said to me, “I don’t know how much more of this I can take.”

As the event wore on, it struck me: Joe Rogan could be at any number of crazy Vegas club parties filled with smoking hot groupies, free drinks, and MMA legends. And yet here he was spending the biggest Friday evening in MMA history at this little show.

I went over to the Tuff-N-Uff promoter, Jeff Meyer, and asked him to introduce us.

“You don’t need an introduction,” he said. “Joe’s an open guy. He’ll talk to anyone.”

With some trepidation, I went over and introduced myself. Sure enough his smile was big and he moved over to offer me a seat.

“So what do you think of the fights?” I asked.

“I’m a big fan of women’s MMA,” he said. “But I like the more technical fighters, like Gina Carano. Some of these girls…it just seems like they need a hug.”

Dana White loves the UFC. Joe Rogan loves MMA.

And that’s why I love me some Joe Rogan.

(Matthew Polly is the author of two books, one so amazing and exclusive you have to travel into the future to buy it. He contributes to Fightlinker because we have photographs. Dirty, secret photographs.)

  • Letibleu

    One problem, it was not the NSAC’s world, it was Régie des Alcools des Courses et des Jeuxs world. Doc Mailloux was on hand.

  • G Funk

    I love me some Rogan too! And he’s cool like that with strangers, I saw it at one of his shows.

  • iamphoenix

    my boner for rogan is a half chub now…and I don’t know what the purpose of this Love Letter was, kind of went from talking about something i was interested in and then fizzled down to something else…but whatever, you’re a better writer than sobo.

  • Letibleu

    As a person that has once been on the wrong side of the Rogan love, I can assure you it is not pleasant (UFC poker Joe Rogan). He likes me now so it’s all good. The whole fiasco got me into his stuff a lot more. Sometimes he is in the wrong but most of the time he is on or near the path of the right.

    I have a feeling that he sometimes doesn’t realize how much influence he has. If he says Coke is better than Pepsi, all of the sudden a fixed percentage of those listening will without question never buy Pepsi again. The problem usually comes when he mixes personal opinion for mainstream fact. It is a job I do not envy.

  • matthewpolly

    sobo rocks! But i get your point, Mr. Phoenix, the post started one way and went another. That was my failure to sell the transition. However, I think the argument still remains: Rogan loves himself some MMA.

  • iamphoenix

    ^I just hope we can be BFF’s and skype together some more.

  • Reverend Clint

    rogan has nothing to do with the NSAC… big john did so joe can say what ever he wants

  • NinjaCodah

    Some of the hate he received lately was completely unwarranted. Like everybody became an ophthalmologist over night. And where was the hate for Herb Dean anyway?

    Anyway, Joe Rogan going over the line of “professionalism” sometimes is what makes him perfect for this sport. The guy calls it like he sees it, even more so than Dana. I hope he continues commentating for the UFC for a very very long time.

  • G-ranical

    I thought NSAC was Nevada and Montreal is located in Quebec?

    I could be wrong….

  • shillyer

    NSAC for the bad judging not the failure to recognize a busted eye. If anything Herb Dean should have a least a little culpability in this thing. You should not expect to get any useful information when you ask a fighter if he is okay to fight (at least a fighter like kosh, maybe aoki would quit). Herb Dean should have let the doc examine and taken his recommendation seriously. Anything that stops a fight premature sucks and the fans are warranted in there disappointment at the time. But fights from good fighters is always worth pissing off people at an event.

    Joe is the tits

  • Symbul

    With some of the “controversy” over Joe’s comments during the checkup you’d think he got in there and blasted Dr. Santa out of the cage. The doctor (in all likelihood) couldn’t hear him and (again, in all likelihood) doesn’t give a fuck what some commentator thinks about his work. Everyone watching was thinking “Uh oh, they better not stop it before Josh Koscheck eats some more leather.” and Joe just expressed that.

  • mmariusp

    absolutely brilliant write up, Thank you.

  • frickshun

    I’m sure if Joe (we’re on a 1st name basis) knew an injury was present that could affect Kos’ future, he wouldn’t be railing against an overzealous doc. He was essentially saying “Let the fighter decide if he’s unable to continue”. Kos wasn’t complaining. And Rogan is advocating for the fighters. Why would anyone be bothered by that?

    I’ve always liked Rogan, since I saw him on Newsradio (yes, I’m cool like that). His stand-up doesn’t do it for me. As far as a commentator, there is nobody I’d rather hear. He’s the everyman. Completely accessible (like Phoenix’ ass @ a gay orgy). Yet, incredibly knowledgeable.

    And Polly, that story sure did fly off the rails!! It was like you mashed 2 stories together into a frankenstory (stein, not Al). Either one would have been good on it’s own. You must be distracted!!

  • agentsmith
  • Reverend Clint

    ^ joe is right in that letter. Boxing vs mma is like nascar vs rally racing.

  • matthewpolly

    Dear Frickshun,
    You are perceptive to the point of being endearing. I am distracted. The manuscript for my book is in, and I’m waiting for my editor’s notes. So I have twitchy fingers. And clearly, an awkward desire to mash-up arguments with stories. But I prefer to think of it as “pre-publicity.” I hope it was enjoyable nonetheless. I’m hoping to avoid being Tom Rios-ed.

  • frickshun

    Dude–>I love to write & I’ve been there too. I get fired up to write something & the juices are flowing. Then I get distracted & all of a sudden, the mojo is gone. So I lose focus & the story fizzles.

    Regardless, I did enjoy it as I’m clearly a mark for Rogan!!

  • Simco

    “Screech?—I can never remember which clown is which”

    Too soon, dawg.

  • glassjawsh

    ^ gay

    edit: not your love of writing, your love of polly (maybe you, him and phoenix can all touch penises later?)

    double edit: then maybe video tape it?

    triple edit: then maybe send it to me?

  • frickshun

    Glass–>your jealousy is making me blush!!

  • fightlinker

    The best stories start with taking the train to Shelbyville and then move onto tying an onion on your belt (as was the fashion of the time) before finally getting back to the train.

  • agentsmith

    ^^ Nickels used to have bumblebees on em. “Gimme five bees for a quarter,” we’d say.

  • GoldenArms

    sobo loves the ufc. we love mma. that’s why no one loves sobo

  • matthewpolly

    frickshun, the mojo giveth and the mojo taketh away…
    glassjawish, i’d be happy to touch swords with you, if you’d be the bottom.
    goldenarms, subo, loves him some mma, you jackal.
    simco, it is never too soon…

  • iamphoenix

    i’m game for the touching penis party…

  • matthewpolly


  • dulljake

    Could this be the start of Fightlinker orgies? It would probably be pretty male centric, so I recommend a lot of booze be involved, fellas.

  • agentsmith

    Sausage party!

  • iamphoenix

    more like a sausage, oscar meyer wiener and a couple of vienna’s…

  • subo

    YOU SKYPE WITH PHOENIX? I feel like you’re cheating on me even though we haven’t been out. THAT DOESN’T MEAN I’M WRONG.

    Goldenarms – Enjoy paying Zuffa PPV money every time you want to see world class 145/135 lb MMA from now on

  • G Funk

    Sub-oh doesn’t like MMA unless it’s zuffa related or if he got free tix to the scumiest local show.