UFC 271, headlined by champ Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker, dropped last night. Fans, on the whole, were pretty happy with the fights, but many were left wondering why announcer Joe Rogan wasn’t on the card. The UFC said the podcaster, who has recently been at the center of multiple controversies, had to pull out because of a scheduling conflict, but some fans aren’t buying the excuse including the always opinionated Jake Paul. The boxer, who is never shy with his UFC-related opinions, took to Twitter to rip the decision to remove him from commentary and suggest to Disney CEO Bob Chapek that someone else should have been removed instead.
Jake Paul dropped his tweet on Thursday, not long after UFC announced Joe Rogan wouldn’t be able to make the card. He directly addressed “Mr. Chapek” and said he pulled the wrong guy from the card and should have instead removed UFC headman Dana White for a variety of reasons including saying brain damage is part of the gig of being a UFC fighter. Here’s the full quote he dropped on his socials…
There’s a lot to unpack here. Let’s start with Paul’s anger toward Dana White. For those of you who may be out of the loop, Jake Paul and Dana White have been going back and forth pretty much since the former started his career as a boxer. Early on, Paul was very public about wanting to fight Conor McGregor, who was under contract with the UFC, and White had no plans on agreeing. Paul responded by repeatedly taking shots at McGregor and even saying disparaging things about his wife, to the point where Paul's brother Logan even told him to stop.
In response White has taken repeated shots at Paul and his choice of opponents, saying he should fight actual boxers instead of aging UFC fighters who aren't experienced in boxing. Paul has responded by repeatedly calling out White for underpaying UFC fighters and accusing him of using cocaine, amongst many other middle fingers. In short, they’ve both generated a ridiculous number of headlines shit-talking the other.
As such, it’s no surprise Paul would use Joe Rogan’s absence on the UFC card to take more shots at White. He’s been doing it for over a year, and whether you love or hate the YouTuber turned fighter, you can’t deny he’s an absolute master at getting attention for himself. I’m not sure there are many people in all of sports who are better at hyping themselves.
As for what’s going on with Joe Rogan, that too is complicated. The comedian and announcer attracts a reported eleven million listeners an episode to his podcast. Each episode features Rogan interviewing someone and talking for hours about whatever that person is into and also just random life topics in general. During the pandemic, he has repeatedly expressed skepticism about Covid vaccines and some of the strategies the government has used to fight the pandemic, and he has also had on various guests with divergent scientific opinions. This has led many to claim he’s spreading misinformation.
Several musical acts asked Spotify to pull their music after the company announced it would stand behind Rogan. This past week, a compilation of Rogan using racial slurs was also posted and quickly went viral. Rogan released a video apologizing, saying he hasn’t used the “n-word” in years but at previous points in his career, would say the word rather than a euphemism when directly quoting comedy bits or having conversations about the word itself and its history. UFC has said Rogan will be back on commentary for its next event in March, and Champ Israel Adesanya publicly defended the announcer during a recent press conference.
As for what Jake Paul will get up to next, we’re not quite sure yet. He generated a ton of positive headlines after his vicious knockout of Tyron Woodley. He reportedly wants to make a big splash with his next opponent, but Dana White has refused to release any of the UFC fighters he publicly challenged to a match. For awhile there were some rumors about maybe getting boxing legend Mike Tyson into the ring for an exhibition match, but those conversations reportedly broke down. So, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens next.
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