Joe Rogan has been a color commentator for the UFC for nearly two decades now, having seen a ton of talent pass through the Octagon during that time.
If there is one thing the UFC does that bothers Rogan, it would be how the promotion supposedly ruins prospects.
“(In boxing) managers dictate who the fighters fight, and they do build their fighters up correctly. One of the things that bother me about MMA, is I think there’s some really good young fighters that get ruined,” Rogan said on The Joe Rogan MMA Experience (via Lazy Lefty). “They get thrown to the wolves too quickly, they wind up getting their confidence shattered, they get knocked out when they shouldn’t be, they’re fighting a caliber of fighter they’re not prepared for. There’s always the argument for a guy like Jon Jones, youngest ever UFC champion. For every Jon Jones, there’s a guy who is coming up that maybe could have been a world champion, but didn’t get managed correctly. The UFC doesn’t give you options. They say ‘hey, you want to fight Kamaru Usman? Okay, here’s your fight. This is it.’”
The UFC runs more events than they ever have before, which does mean that the need for fighters increases as well.
Rogan also believes that if fighters weren’t locked into specific promotions, it would allow them to get a better chance to fight a bigger variety of competitors.
“If there was a ton of different promoters around, and you weren’t locked into any specific organization like the UFC has, I think you can see more managers saying ‘Hey man you’re not ready for Robbie Lawler, you’re not ready for this guy. We’re going to take this fight on a regional level. We’re going to build you up and get you to 15, 16-0, then we’re going to start to challenge some top 10 contenders.’ This way, you will have seen all the looks. You’ll have seen a great wrestler, a great striker. You’ve fought a Muay Thai champion, you’ve fought a jiujitsu guy, you know how to handle all these different scenarios,” says Rogan.
Fighters also have a lot more opportunities to get into the UFC now, especially with the returning Ultimate Fighter, Dana White’s Contender Series and Dana White’s Lookin’ For A Fight.