UFC color commentator Joe Rogan took time out this past weekend to address the controversy surrounding Jon Fitch in a post on the legendary Underground forums at MixedMartialArts.com.
“I think first and (foremost) that I’m happy Fitch didn’t get cut, or at least did and got brought right back on board,” Rogan began, before addressing criticism that has been directed towards UFC president Dana White.
“Dana is a very unconventional person,” he continued. “If you’re with him, you’re his friend and he’s the best guy in the world to have on your side. Conversely, if you’re against him he’s your worst [expletive] enemy.
Me personally, I like guys like that. You always know where you stand with them, and in my personal experiences with him I’ve found him to be very honest and very generous. Again, this is just my personal experience. I really, really like the guy, and I consider him a good friend.”
In regards to reports that the UFC decided to sever ties with Fitch over the fact that he initially balked at signing over his likeness to the promotion for the purposes of an upcoming UFC video game produced by THQ, Rogan said:
“I don’t completely understand the terms of this contract, but in a non-specific sense you could look at it two ways – you could either think of it as them making money off your likeness, and the fact that they can continue to do so as long as they like, or you could think of it as an awesome opportunity for publicity and exposure.
“This game is going to be [expletive] insane, and it’s going to be seen and played with by millions and millions of people, millions of times. For a popular fighter it’s a [expletive] awesome tool for exposure that has a level of impact that you really wouldn’t be able to recreate on your own. Obviously the more exposure you have, the more opportunities you’re going to have to cash in on that with sponsorships.”
During the course of the message, Rogan, an accomplished practitioner of tae kwon do and jiu-jitsu, tried to see things from both the perspective of the fighters, but also his long-time friend, White.
“I don’t always agree with every single thing Dana says, but I can tell you that without that guy this sport would have never gotten to the point where it is today,” said Rogan. “The dude is COMMITTED. He’s under a tremendous amount of pressure, and he works a tremendous amount of hours to keep this juggernaut that is the UFC moving. If he somehow left this life it would take five other guys to replace him, and they would still probably wind up [expletive] it up.
“I think we’ve seen with the foldings of the IFL and EliteXC how hard this [expletive] really is to pull off.
I don’t agree with a lot of the things he says about fighters, but I know where it’s coming from. He’s a passionate mother[expletive], and sometimes he gets a little crazy. Again, it’s that same energy that makes him great at what he does.”
Rogan concluded his post with sentiments shared by many loyal fans of the UFC.
“In the end I’m glad cooler heads prevailed and everything was worked out. I’m looking forward to seeing Fitch back in the Octagon. He’s one of those dudes that I believe is going to come back from a defeat and fight on a whole new level, and I can’t wait to see it,” he said.