UFC’s Joe Rogan Releases Statement on UFC 223 Main Event Commentary

UFC commentator Joe Rogan
Joe Rogan Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

UFC color commentator Joe Rogan has come out in defense of his main event commentary at UFC 223.

UFC 223 is in the books, and it was an interesting night to say the least. Rose Namajunas defended her strawweight title in a hotly contested match against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Zabit Magomedsharipov continued his march to stardom. Karolina Kowalkiewicz fended off a game Felice Herrig. Olivier Aubin-Mercier arrived as the ‘Canadian Gangster.’ Yet outside the cage, one particularly notable occurrence was the performance of UFC color commentator Joe Rogan.

Rogan’s commentary during the main event between Khabib Nurmagomedov and massive underdog/short notice opponent Al Iaquinta has become a focal point for fans. Many have perceived it as inaccurate or even biased against the Russian star. Rogan spent much of the later rounds of the fight questioning Khabib’s stand-up game, a rather surprising twist in a fight that he was dominating. And while it is true that Khabib was seemingly unable to control Iaquinta the way many expected in the later rounds, and had noticeably slowed a step, it was still a landslide victory for ‘The Eagle.’

Rogan has now released a statement regarding his performance on the air at UFC 223 in Brooklyn, explaining his reasoning. Saying that it is “insanely rare to have a fighter as dominant as [Khabib Nurmagomedov],” Rogan went on to explain that “when I’m commentating on someone that dominant I am constantly looking for cracks in their armor, and on Saturday night we saw the first of those cracks exposed by an incredibly game Al Iaquinta.”

Iaquinta, mind you, did not win a single round in the bout on the judges scorecards. That said, even making it five rounds with the imposing Nurmagomedov is something of a victory. And while five of the Russian’s previous UFC fights have gone to decision, he had never before been in a five round fight. Many expected that would give him more time to ragdoll Iaquinta and finish him off. Instead, the New Yorker gutted it out to the end.

You can read Rogan’s full statement below.


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