Joe Rogan has been one of the UFC’s most prominent voices for the last 26 years, after making his first appearance with the promotion at UFC 12. For colleague Jon Anik, Rogan’s tireless work and devotion to MMA deserves recognition. The fellow UFC broadcast booth member even went as far as to argue that the world famous podcast host should be in the running for an Emmy Award for his broadcast work. Anik recently sat down with Brian Campbell and Luke Thomas to discuss a variety of topics, including Rogan’s contributions to the sport.
Joe Rogan deserves an Emmy award
Anik’s first pay-per-view event where he worked with Joe Rogan was UFC 155 in 2012, when the Boston native was asked to fill in for veteran Mike Goldberg. According to Anik, Rogan’s been nothing but respectful to him, even at the time as a relative newcomer in the UFC broadcast booth.
Having gotten to know Rogan both inside and outside the confines of the UFC in the years since, Anik only has praise for the former ‘Fear Factor’ host. That goes double in terms of being an analyst. When it comes to breaking down a fight, Anik believes his colleague deserves major recognition for his accomplishments.
“He’s just the real article, he’s just such a genuine guy,” Anik said of Rogan. “ And I know that sounds trite, but it’s very easy to sort of break down that A-list wall when he’s just Joe Rogan, f-cking comedian pothead, talking about coffee.
“He’s just a super, super guy and has embraced me to such an extent. And I will say, too, about Joe: it’s crazy to me that he’s never—speaks to where MMA isn’t, the fact that he’s never been nominated for a national Emmy.
“He’s an elite sports analyst in every part of the job. And he has never been acknowledged. And that frustrates me, at least domestically.”
How Rogan’s presence elevates the dynamic
Rogan is no longer present in all UFC events as he used to, limiting his appearances in PPV cards inside the US. Recently, he revealed a clause in his contract, citing his departure from longtime commentary duties once UFC president Dana White steps down from his post.
For Anik, the goal is to keep Joe Rogan fulfilled with his job for as long as possible.
“He went from being in a two-man booth his whole career. Then all of a sudden, it’s like, ‘Oh, by the way, we’re letting your play-by-play guy go, here’s Jon Anik, and we’re also gonna stick an athlete on the other side.’ He didn’t blink, didn’t bat an eye, and I will say humbly, I think he’s never had more fun doing this job and I think he can admit that to you if he was here.
“That’s our focus is to keep him doing it because everything feels elevated and more dynamic when he’s there. And I want to make sure that he’s still having fun.”
Controversies and criticisms
All his successes as a podcaster and UFC analyst aside, Joe Rogan has his fair share of controversies. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, he was criticized for his perceived anti-vaccine stance and promoting the use of antiparasitic drug Ivermectin to treat the virus.
This urged a group of doctors to call on Spotify to take action against Rogan for spreading “false claims” and “provoking distrust in science and medicine.” For his part, Rogan denied being an anti-vaxxer in 2021, and stated that he shouldn’t be taken seriously for saying “stupid shit” while intoxicated in his podcast. Although that move didn’t stop him from providing a continued platform to anti-vaxx voices, which prompted more backlash and an apology from Rogan in early 2022.
As for his commentary duties, Rogan’s next assignment is likely UFC 288, which happens on May 6th in New Jersey.
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