Catching up with Joe Rogan
Joe Rogan’s comedy special “Talking Monkeys in Space” airs after The Ultimate Fighter season 9 finale on Spike TV this Saturday. Rogan is one of the more intriguing comedians working today (his interviews in podcast and satellite radio form with people he knows are incredible) and his special should kick ass.
I spoke to Joe earlier this week about the special and his work with the UFC.
On his special
All of my specials mean something at the time. This one means more because it’s the new one. I have a real good relationship with the Spike guys, they have seen me perform at comedy clubs many times and the beautiful thing is they are owned by Comedy Central. So the reruns will be on Spike and eventually on Comedy Central.
On doing comedy and UFC commentary
It’s fun, it’s an interesting way to do it. I like to go to these towns and do comedy one night and the UFC the other night. It’s been working out and has been the best of both worlds.
As a human being you evolve and your thinking evolves. As a comic and artist your comedy evolves as well. The more you do something the better you get at it. I think I enjoy it more now.
On balancing writing new jokes versus research for MMA commentary
All the research I do for MMA commentary is stuff I would do anyway. I’m a huge fan of mixed martial arts and I’d be going to the same websites, watching the same fights and same videos. I’m just a huge fan. I’m very fortunate to be a paid professional fan of the UFC. The more stuff you do the more your perspective is enhanced. The more different things I’ve done the more my comedy is enhanced. The better I am at comedy the better I am at commentary.
Diego has a very good chance. It’s a very interesting fight. Clay Guida is a juggernaught. He has great conditioning, great wrestling, sets a relentless pace and is great taking fighters out of their game plans. But, at 155, Diego is a different animal. His jiu-jitsu is off the chain.
On his favorite fighters
I like different varities of fighters. I like fighters that are exciting and intelligent. I love Wanderlei Silva, he’s my favorite fighter of all time. He doesn’t have a safety sense style at all. He has that reckless abandon and just attacks with the most aggressive style ever. I really enjoy that and then I again I enjoy Lyoto Machida. He takes no damager, fights intelligently and is amazing to watch.
You can’t do commentary on the ground game unless you’ve done it. You can call a triangle while it’s locked on but you won’t see the setups, the transitions. There are too many steps before you finish that you won’t catch on. Doing jiu-jitsu has definitely helped my commentary.
Some sports fans just think UFC guys are all a bunch of meat heads. That they aren’t real athletes and that they aren’t intelligent. That’s the biggest misconception.
On the growth of MMA
The outcropping of new organizations like Strikeforce is very important. There are so many up and coming guys that need places to fight and I believe competition is good. New organizations are great for the sport. I just think this sport has so much potential. It’s exploded over the past few years and there’s so much more room to grow. I truly believe it’s the most exciting sport in the world.
On GSP vs.Thiago Alves at UFC 100
Thiago Alves is the very best striker GSP has ever faced. In his career he has one loss from a grappler and one loss from someone who struck with him. Alves is way more powerful than Serra, was more dangerous on his feet. Georges has to be careful in the standup aspect. But how will Alves handle GSP’s wrestling? GSP is the best mixed martial arts wrestler in the business. He’s the best at executing a game plan. His execution is flawless.
On Kimbo Slice joining the next season of The Ultimate Fighter
He’s got Roy Big Country Nelson on that show. He’s a really good jiu-jitsu guy with a ton of experience. He’s a dangerous fight for a guy who has a hard time on the ground. Kimbo will have a real hard time with guys who are good grapplers. It takes too long to learn the grappling game. You have to love it and do it for years before you can defend yourself from a high level guy. I don’t know that Kimbo is that guy. I don’t know if he trains all the time with the right people and goes over positions.