Veteran Ultimate Fighting Championship color commentator Joe Rogan has had his fair share of fighters criticize his style of commentary over the years, and now the promotion’s biggest star, Conor McGregor has some words to say.
McGregor was visiting Chicago in the lead-up to St. Patrick’s Day last weekend and was asked if he would ever consider being a guest on Rogan’s popular podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience.” McGregor said he wasn’t impressed by how Rogan called his second bout with Nate Diaz at UFC 202 in August 2016, claiming Rogan uses a script to call fights instead of actually watching them and providing his own analytical opinion (transcribed via MMANews.com):
“I’d like him to call a fight how he sees it correctly and not be reading off a script,” McGregor said. “The [Nate] Diaz rematch it was like he was reading from the first fight and that last one, he was talking about my face was being smashed in. I left that Octagon with a black eye, the same way [Khabib Nurmagomedov’s] two rat cousins left. His brother and his cousin left the Octagon with a black eye, so what is he talking about?”
Rogan decided to respond to McGregor’s comments on his podcast on Tuesday and defended the way he calls fights while denying he’s never used a script.
“That is not really true because no one ever gives me a script. That’s a fact. I don’t know what exactly he said, maybe he didn’t like my commentary. I bet he likes it when he wins,” Rogan said with a laugh.
“That’s his perception, I understand what he’s saying. Sometimes people think that but it’s very difficult when someone is calling your fight. If he’s talking about me calling someone’s fight that’s not his friend, that makes much more sense. It’s f—king hard. It’s hard for me. I have a really hard time calling friend’s fights. It’s f—king hard.”
While Rogan understands how his comments can be misconstrued and come across as biased at times, he said that’s not his intention when he gets behind the microphone. As for the rematch fight against Diaz, Rogan claimed he had to use to backdrop of their previous encounter to provide context in their sequel.
“I get his position,” Rogan explained. “That Diaz fight was a good f—king fight. It was a hard fight. I wasn’t calling it like the last fight but I had to call it with the knowledge of the last fight. I had to know what happened in the last fight. In the last fight, Diaz survived the storm, tagged him, had him rocked and then finished him on the ground.
“It doesn’t mean that he didn’t win the second fight. It was a close f—king fight, the second fight was a very close fight but you have to acknowledge that, that other fight took place.”
Rogan said he doesn’t know McGregor well except for the times he’s met him at events but says he respects the former dual-divisional champ.
“I don’t know him that well but I like him a lot,” Rogan said about McGregor. “I respect the f—k out of him.”