Joe Rogan’s time as UFC commentator may come to an end next year, as the 48-year-old comedian said this week he’s not sure if he’ll stay on after his contract expires.
“I don’t know. My contract’s up in August. I might leave in August. It’s possible,” Rogan said during his latest Joe Rogan Experience podcast (transcribed by FoxSports.com). “I like doing s*** that scares me. I like taking chances. I like walking away from things. I like doing that, I like experiencing new things. You open up new doors, your mind starts firing in a different way. I’m not a big fan of doing the same s*** over and over and over again.
“Like when I do stand up comedy, I have to go to different places. I have The Comedy Store that’s like my main spot but I like to go to weird spots. I’ll do an open mic night in the middle of f***ing nowhere. I think it’s really important. I like to go to new places, I like to travel, I like to get in my car and just drive places. Just get out of my car and walk around and check out places.”
Rogan’s first appearances in the UFC came as a backstage interviewer in the late 90s, but it was in 2001 that his time as an cageside color commentator began. Dana White brought him in after Zuffa purchased the organization, and he’s been a mainstay ever since. It’s a role he’s enjoyed, and his mind isn’t yet made up on whether or not it will continue.
“I think you’ve got to experience different things in life and I like to plan those things out,” Rogan said. “I’ve been doing the UFC for a long time. I will never stop being a UFC fan, that’s not going to happen, I love the sport, but there’s probably going to come a time where I don’t do commentary anymore and it might be sooner than later or it might no. August might roll around and I might say ‘you know what I f***ing love this, let’s keep doing this’ but I might not too. I don’t know.
“I love it. It’s not that I don’t love it. It’s just that I love doing a lot of other s*** too. I don’t think that my love for MMA will ever die off but it’s very possible that I won’t want to do it as a career sometime in the future.”
Penick’s Analysis: Rogan’s effectiveness as a commentator has been varied, especially in recent years, and he and Mike Goldberg continue to get their share of criticism. Still, he’s a recognized voice of the UFC, and it would be odd to not have him be a part of major broadcasts. Still, it will be 15 years in that role in 2016, and that’s a long time for anyone to be in any position. If he feels it’s time to move on at that point, it’s time to move on.
[Photo (c) Matt Roberts via USA Today Sports]