For UFC fans, Joe Rogan is an integral part of the promotion that follows them through the fights. Of course, there are instances where he is absent from his commentary position behind the announce table, but those instances are usually because he has other commitments. However, tonight at UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Emmett Rogan follows the action from the audience.
The popular media personality and commentator for the UFC posted a photo from the stands and stated that for the first time in 20 years, he was watching an event as an audience member:
“First time in the audience at a @ufc in 20 years! #ufcaustin”
Joe Rogan worked for the UFC from 1997 to 1999. However, he resigned after his compensation for the events was not enough to cover his expenses. After Zuffa took over the UFC in 2001, Dana White convinced Joe Rogan to rejoin the company in 2002.
Joe Rogan recalled his first stage in the UFC
Back in the ’90s, the UFC was a grittier, grittier affair, with events taking place in obscure parts of the United States. The promotion was not paying much and was made possible by the dedication of its wrestlers and staff, including Rogan.
During the JRE Mixed Martial Arts 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, since he earned more as a comedian:
“When I started working for the UFC, I was on NewsRadio, the sitcom. I was flying those damn puddle jumping planes. People were acting like I was doing p*rn. They asked me why I’m doing that and I said I’m I love it… There was one thing where I wondered if this was hurting my career. But I was like I don’t care, I love doing it. It got to the point where it was costing me too much money. I would make more money doing a standup during the weekend than doing the UFC so I quit [around] 1997-98.”
Hear Joe Rogan talk about his first experience in the UFC below:
As mentioned above, Rogan and White became friends in 2001, leading to him being behind the announcers’ desk a year later. Since then, Rogan has been the leading voice of the promotion and has also become arguably the biggest podcaster on the planet.