Why Did Joe Rogan Stop Commentating UFC on Fox Shows?

(Courtesy of JRE Clips)

You might have noticed that it’s been a while since we’ve seen UFC mainstay Joe Rogan color commentating for a UFC event on the FOX broadcast network. No, there wasn’t just a bunch of coincidental scheduling conflicts or something, it’s because Rogan no longer wanted to take part when FOX was in charge of the broadcast.

“My contract is with the UFC and I was never working for FOX,” Rogan said on a recent podcast. “That was one of the stipulations of my newer (UFC) contract was I said I didn’t want to do the FOX events anymore. This year, I don’t do any of the FOX events. You’ll notice when there’s big fights on FOX, I don’t do any of them; none of them. Zero. Stopped doing it; didn’t want to do it anymore. Too much work, too much traveling. My issue was FOX actually paid me less money, less money to do the events on FOX. I was like, ‘You guys are high.'”

Sounds simple enough, but aside from the busier schedule and lower pay, Rogan has kind of had a bone of contention with FOX because of the way broadcasts were conducted and he just didn’t feel like he fit the mold for what FOX executives wanted for its televised events.

Joe Rogan“It was also, I didn’t like when I first started doing it for them, they got in my ear. The very first events for FOX, they were like telling me what to do,” Rogan explained. “They were telling me to take it down a notch. Don’t be so amped up about that guy. I was like, ‘What? What are you doing here?’ I go, ‘Listen, I do commentary. This is what I do. I’ve been doing it forever. This is how I do it. If you think you can change me, then we’re not going to work together.’ We had a real problem for the first event. It was a FOX production.

“I didn’t like it. They want a sports guy,” he continued. “Look, MMA is what it is; it’s fighting. It is a very specific kind of sport. I’ve been doing it the way I’ve been doing it forever. If you don’t like the way I do it, that’s fine. Don’t hire me. But don’t try to get me to become some sports guy. I’m not interested in that at all.”

It appears that the main point for him discontinuing work on FOX broadcasts was the aforementioned issues with too much work and too little pay, though, as he admitted that the producers relented after he expressed his displeasure with their direction.

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“To their credit, they stopped doing it after the first event when I voiced my displeasure. I let them know really clearly, ‘Look, we’re not doing this. We’re not going to change how I do it to make you happy. If you don’t like the way I do it, it’s not an option for you to direct me and tell me to do it the way you like it, because you think that that’s better.’ They were producers or executives. I don’t agree with them, and I’m not doing it that way,” he said.

“This is what I do. I get amped up. It’s legitimate passion. I’m not faking it. But they didn’t want that. They let it go after a while, but it’s not like they fought for me when I quit, either.”