For Joe Rogan, the opportunity to sit Octagon-side on a Saturday night and call UFC action is a true thrill.
Rogan’s been doing it since 1997, going from interviewer to color commentator. He reflected on his career during a recent appearance on “UFC Tonight.”
“I do it out of joy, not as a job,” he said. “DC (Daniel Cormier), I am so excited about your fight with Jon Jones. I don’t like sports like football. I get bored. The stakes have to be really high. Mixed martial arts is the highest level of competition human beings can be in besides war.”
Rogan’s first UFC appearance came at UFC 12: Judgement Day in Alabama. The promotion has expanded since, and Rogan’s continued his stand-up comedy career along the way. That February event saw Mark Coleman defeat Dan Severn to become the first-ever UFC heavyweight champion, and also featured a soon-to-be titleholder in action named Vitor Belfort.
“I started off the post-fight interview at UFC 12 in 1997 and Vitor was there, and he’s still fighting,” Rogan said. “I don’t know how he keeps his motivation and not just training, but also mentally.”
Currently, the likes of Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor garner much of the headlines, and Rogan understands why.
“She’s not just a once in a lifetime athlete, she’s a once ever. She’s so dominant. She’s not just a really beautiful girl just getting by, she’s smashing people,” he said. “Conor McGregor is a dynamo, a great talker and is so confident. He has unique moves. He’s so loose and confident. He says he’ll knock people out in first round and does. He’s a legit superstar.”