Love him or hate him, Joe Rogan has been as big a part of the UFC over the years as the very octagon the fights themselves take place in.
So in celebration of the sport’s most well-known colour-commentator, here are the top-5 greatest Joe Rogan moments.
#5 – Interviewing Sean O’Malley At UFC 222
Rogan doesn’t often get enough credit for his ability to make quick decisions in the post-fight environment. Interviewing a fighter after a long and gruelling matchup just doesn’t come with the same requirements as questioning a football or basketball player at the end of a game.
One prime example of a golden moment that could well have been lost came in the form of Sean O’Malley’s now legendary UFC 222 post-fight interview – a chat with Joe that in many ways saw his status as an emerging superstar confirmed.
Lying on the ground with a broken leg in a state of pure agony, Rogan made the decision to interview Suga Sean despite seeing the bantamweight prospect writhing in pain on the floor – something that led to one of the most memorable exchanges we’ve seen in some time.
Rogan and O’Malley’s back-and-forth was one laced with a real genuine energy and as you would expect, the fans instantly fell in love with one of the promotion’s best future superstars and overall, it was the quick-thinking of Joe Rogan that allowed this to be the case.
#4 – ‘I Clearly Felt A Tap’
Ah, Alistair. One of the most memorable post-fight controversies of the era came from what looked to be a run-of-the-mill knockout sequence for then-champion Stipe Miocic.
After sustaining some early damage from Alistair Overeem before evading a close guillotine attempt, Stipe was able to recapture the fight’s momentum before putting away his foe before the first round had elapsed.
However, once Overeem came to and spoke to Joe Rogan, he was adamant that Stipe had, in fact, tapped out to his submission – leading Joe to put his claims to the test in a very public fashion by walking Alistair through the failed guillotine attempt, leaving the Dutchman looking a bit silly once all was said and done.
This exchange – along with Daniel Cormier’s emotional UFC 214 post-fight interview – were enough to make Joe reconsider his stance on speaking to potentially concussed fighters who had just suffered a defeat inside the octagon.
And to be honest, it’s an understandable decision to make and overall, one that is fairer to the fighters themselves.
#3 – The Ice Bucket
Rogan’s infamous assault on the corner of the former UFC fighter Ronys Torres will go down as one of the funniest moments in the history of the UFC – a truly organic mishap that sent everyone’s favourite commentator into one of his most Joe Rogan-ish tirades ever.
After a bucket of ice was spilled on the mat in between rounds – Torres’ cornermen, who co-incidentally were UFC champions José Aldo and Renan Barao – were subject to increasingly agitated verbal barbs from Rogan – who at point hilariously said someone needed to kick these guys’ asses.
From there, Joe went on to admonish the cornermen at every turn – telling them to return and complete the job after they had hastily brushed the ice onto the side of the octagon where the ringgirls make their mid-round walk.
Funnily enough, we’ve never seen a repeat incident in the UFC and well, I suppose in a weird way we can thank Joe and his fired-up reaction for that.
#2- Challenging Gray Maynard
If there’s one thing you can always count on Joe Rogan for, it’s his desire to do everything in his power to dispel any questionable narratives that may be forming in the wake of fight.
In the case of Gray Maynard’s apparent victory over Rob Emerson in The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale, what seemed like a victory for Maynard quickly turned into a debate with Rogan as the colour-commentator – based on word from the referee – alleged that Gray had, in fact, knocked himself out cold while slamming his opponent to the ground.
Emerson tapped quickly upon hitting the mat due to a rib injury, ending the fight there and then but alas, his opponent Maynard was clearly also unable to continue – slumping to his side after sustaining a hard blow to the head.
Joe really wasn’t willing to give Maynard an inch here – which was understandable due to the frankly ridiculous nature of his claims.
Perhaps this one was a bit insensitive – given the exact type of injury sustained by the subject, but Rogan was nevertheless determined to make sure that everyone – including Gray Maynard – was left under no illusions about exactly what happened.
#1 – Teaching GSP His Turning Side-Kick
Nowadays, a simple YouTube search will grant you access to every known piece of footage showing Rogan’s fearsome kicking ability but even still, his one-on-one session with the former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion Georges ‘Rush’ St-Pierre is a singularly special piece of viewing.
Clearly even one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all-time can learn a thing or two from Joe – with GSP later going as far as to say that he had never seen a strike or blow from any man hit as hard as Rogan’s turning side-kick.
The footage of Rogan teaching St-Pierre how to throw his own variation on the turning side-kick is truly an engaging watch – not only due it confirming GSP’s status as a humble and diligent student of the martial arts, but also due to it bringing Rogan’s own prowess as a taekwondo black-belt to the fore.
It’s hard to pull off being an MMA commentator without a vast degree of knowledge at your disposal and here, Joe’s lifetime experience as a martial artist shines through more than ever before.