For UFC fans, Joe Rogan is an integral part of the promotion guiding them through fights. Of course, there are instances when he is absent from his commentary position behind the announcers’ table, but such occurrences are usually due to the fact that he has other assignments. However, tonight at UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Emmett Rogan follows the action of the audience.
The popular media personality and UFC commentator posted a photo from the stands, stating that he was watching an event as a spectator for the first time in 20 years:
“First time in the audience at an @ufc in 20 years! #ufcaustin”
Joe Rogan worked for the UFC from 1997 to 1999. However, he quit after his compensation for the events was not enough to cover his costs. After Zuffa’s takeover of the UFC in 2001, Dana White convinced Joe Rogan to rejoin the company in 2002.
Joe Rogan remembered his first stint with the UFC
In the 90s, UFC was a more gritty and gritty affair, with events taking place in obscure parts of the United States. The promotion did not yield much and was sustained by the dedication of his fighters and staff, including Rogan.
During the JRE MMA show episode with Julianna Pena, Rogan shared his experience working for the UFC as a backstage interviewer. He admitted that he had to quit for financial reasons, because he made more as a stand-up comedian:
“When I first started working for the UFC, I was on the NewsRadio, the sitcom. I flew those damn pee-jumper planes. People pretended I was doing p*rn. They asked why you’ I did that and I thought I liked it… There was something where I wondered if this was hurting my career But I didn’t care, I like doing it It got to the point where it was costing me too much money. I’d make more money from a weekend stand-up than the UFC, so I quit [around] 1997-98.”
Listen below to Joe Rogan talking about his early UFC experience:
As previously mentioned, Rogan and White became friends in 2001, which led to him joining the broadcasters’ desk a year later. Since then, Rogan has been the main voice of the promotion and has also become arguably the biggest podcaster in the world.