ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith heavily criticized a defeated Cerrone after the bout and color commentator Joe Rogan says Smith’s take makes everybody look bad.
“That’s a bad look for everybody,” Rogan said on The Joe Rogan Experience MMA Show (via Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie). “It’s a bad look for ESPN, it’s a bad look for him, it’s a bad look for the sport. There’s other people that can do this. … We have plenty of people out there who understand the sport. There’s plenty of them. But the thing about him is he’s really popular. (He just got a contract extension) because his personality is so fun. He’s a fun guy to watch and people love (expletive)-talking and they love people arguing about (expletive) and one person is better at arguing. Stephen A. Smith is really good at that stuff. But it’s not the place for MMA. It’s just not the place. It’s not the same thing.”
Rogan was on camera longside Smith during the latter’s rant, plus Michael Eaves of Sportscenter was a part of the segment as well.
The UFC color commentator also believes that Smith’s current persona doesn’t carry over well to MMA.
“There’s a lot of currency in being Stephen A. Smith,” Rogan said. “He’s really entertaining. That (expletive)-talking that he does, he’s a guy that’s fun to watch. He talks a lot of (expletive) and he gets real loud and everyone disagrees with him. Look, it’s made him a fantastic career. He carries that over to MMA – I think it’s a bad idea. There’s a culture in sports broadcasting, whether it’s radio or television – just this diminishing of people. This (expletive)-talking that goes with sports. ‘He always falls apart. That mother(expletive) should give us his money back. He sucks.’ Then the other guy is like, ‘Oh, I can’t believe he’s saying that.’ They do that in sports radio. People love it. Because if you’re on the job site (expletive) hammering nails, you’re like, ‘You’re right, he does suck.’ There’s a mentality that goes along with that kind of sports guy mentality, sports radio talk. I hate that (expletive). I’ve resisted that from the beginning and I’ve (expletive) on those guys from the beginning because it’s not the same thing. You’re not talking about the same thing. You’re talking about fighting. You’re talking about unbelievable physical consequences, including – knock on wood; in our sport, it’s very rare, but – death.”
There is no word yet as to whether or not ESPN plans on altering their coverage of MMA in regards to having Smith as a part of the presentation.