Joe Rogan, the comedian turned UFC’s leading commentator and all-around expert on mixed martial arts, is pretty angry at Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, the two light heavyweight fighters who are set to meet at the main event of next month’s UFC 178 pay-per-view. The two hotheads got a little too close for comfort at the weigh-in last week and decided to have the fight then and there. Rogan does not approve.
“That’s a streetfight. That’s a world champion Mixed Martial Arts fighter and an Olympic Wrestler, and they’re street fighting. That’s bad for everybody. That’s bad for wrestling, that’s bad for MMA, that’s bad for sports.”
The reason Rogan said he thinks incidents such as the one that occurred between Jones and Cormier are so bad is because it confuses the public about what MMA fighting is.
“The difference between that kind of violence and the violence of a sport is that everyone is agreeing to this scenario,” Rogan said. “These guys were not professional.”
To keep things under control, Rogan suggests the UFC should adopt a “no contact policy” at weigh-ins. He said in his podcast:
“Unless they agree to hug or shake hands and hug, there should be a no contact policy. And anybody who clearly violates that no contact policy gets fined … Some guys can deal with it, the getting in the guy’s face. But when you have a situation like this, you’re going to have to have a no contact policy with those guys.”
There’s just one problem with Rogan’s argument… people became more interested in watching Jones and Cormier at UFC 178 after they got a small, unhinged taste of what could come. Yahoo! Sports writes, “The general pubic interest in the title fight escalated considerably following the incident.” The Washington Post’s own anecdotal evidence, judging solely on the performance of the original Early Lead article posted about the fight, tends to support that argument.
And, eventually, it seems, so does Rogan himself.
“Although Rogan came out strongly against the brawl, he did backtrack on that stance slightly,” FanSided.com writes. Rogan said on his podcast (via FanSided):
“Does it bum me out? No. No, it doesn’t make me upset. I’m not upset, I’m looking forward to watching this fight even more now.
I’m not gonna pretend that’s not fun. I’m not gonna pretend that didn’t make everyone way more excited for that fight, because it for [expletive] sure did.”
What’s your take?