When it comes to being the voice of the UFC, fans think of none other than Joe Rogan. For over two decades, Rogan has been commentating on hundreds, if not thousands of MMA bouts. His second-to-none knowledge of the sport makes it even better for the viewers watching in their homes. However, there’s one more thing that the New Jersey native is most renowned for, and that’s his on-camera reactions.
Be it in the UFC broadcast booth or while speaking to a guest on The Joe Rogan Experience, Joe has a natural gift of transforming anything into a compelling subject. On some occasions, he can bring the best out of his podcast guest, whereas at other times, it’s him that takes the limelight away, for all the good reasons.
Over the years, the former Fear Factor host has given us countless conversations and moments to buzz about. Be it his controversial take on the COVID-19 vaccinations to slamming Bud Light, Joe has had a history of drawing heat through his podcast.
Joe Rogan reacts to Benny Paret dying in the ring against Emile Griffith
On one such incident, Joe happened to be sitting across the desk opposite fellow comic Brian Simpson. Brian, who is known for his work in The Standups on Netflix appeared on the JRE episode 1918. During a particular segment, the duo found itself discussing some of the most brutal occurring that took place inside the squared circle.
Brian asked Rogan, “Did Wille Pep die in the ring? That name stands out to me for some reason.” Rogan, who is a combat sports fanatic, was quick to respond to Brian. He said, “I don’t believe so. Benny Paret died in the ring. Benny Paret was killed by Emile Griffith. Emile Griffith beat him to death in the ring after Benny Paret teased him for being g*y.”
Rogan elaborates, “He kept talking s*it about him being g*y. I believe so (he was g*y). I think that was the rumor. He wasn’t trying to (kill him). He was trying to knock him out.”
“It’s a rough one to watch the end. He just beats the f*cking s*it out of him. So he’s (Paret) stuck in the ropes, and Emile is just teeing off on him while he’s out. And he collapses and then he’s dead,” concludes Joe, as the two watch the footage in horror.
The infamous incident of 1962 was a rubber match between the two at Madison Square Garden. During the morning weigh-ins, Griffith was asked to pose with Paret for photos. To this, Emile reportedly said, “I’d better not. I’m liable to swing right now.” Paret responded back with – “m*ricon,” understood by both boxers to mean a g*y slur in Spanish.
Emile had previously worked in a women’s hat factory. He would reportedly come out as bisexual in the coming years. However, in 1962, allegations of homosexuality were considered harmful to an athlete’s career. Needless to say, Paret’s taunt enraged Emile at the weigh-in, set the tone for the fight night.
How did Nigel Benn vs. Gerald McClellan end?
Rogan continued discussing some of the most horrifying beatings and subsequent deaths. Followed by the 1962 mishap of Benny Paret, Brian touched upon the infamous 1995 boxing match titled “Sudden Impact.” Joe immediately recalled the fight and said, “There’s been some horrific moments like that. Gerald McClellan, he was the guy that was a rival for Roy Jones Jr.”
“He (Gerald) fought Nigel Benn. And he almost put Nigel Benn out in the 1st round. He had Nigel Benn in all sorts of trouble, knocked him out of the ring. Nigel was one of the toughest motherf*ckers to ever box. He got back in the ring and survived,” Rogan explained.
The UFC commentator continued praising the two men who went to war that night. He said, “Gerald McClellan was a f*cking murderous puncher. He knocked everybody out. So he was assuming he was about to knock Nigel Benn out too. But Nigel just kept coming. And at one point in time, they collided heads, and it was a bad one.”
“So Gerald eventually comes back and drops Nigel in the eighth round. The point is, this was a f*cking war. So he (Gerald) decided to stay down (after taking a knee in the 10th round). You see him wincing in pain and holding his head. He never recovered.”
The boxing world regards the infamous bout as one of the sport’s most brutal and violent encounters. Nigel and Gerald came into the fight as the WBC super-middleweight champion and former WBC middleweight champion respectively. The officials announced Nigel as the winner after Gerald was counted out while down on his knee.
Shortly after the fight ended, McClellan collapsed and went into a coma for 2 weeks. Because of the injuries he sustained during the match, Gerald is blind and has hearing, memory, and mobility issues. The match has been described as one that will be forever embedded in the minds of those who watched it.
Rogan on Roy Jones Jr. getting brutally knocked out
By the end of the segment, Joe Rogan touched upon Roy Jones Jr. and the beating he took later in his career. Roy, who was once considered invincible during his prime, has been at the receiving ends of some brutal KOs as well. Rogan shared, “That’s the risk that these guys are taking. I mean, it’s like a crazy sport. You’re throwing haymakers at each other with thick padding over the top of it.”
“This greatly affected Roy Jones Jr. too because Roy and him (Gerald) almost fought. He was doing movie s*it. Roy put his hand behind his back and then knocked a guy out with one punch,” said Rogan.
Joe Rogan then shared the 2003 fight between Roy and John Ruiz. Jones Jr. who started his pro career at light heavyweight, went up to heavyweight to face Ruiz. However, as per Rogan, Roy’s move back down to light heavyweight affected his ability to take punches. Joe said, “And I think losing the weight to get back down diminished him severely. Then he fought Antonio Tarver(in the same year) and (Tarver) knocked him out in their rematch.”
The comedian went on to watch the Glen Johnson fight where Roy received a vicious KO in what was supposed to be the latter’s comeback fight. Rogan shared, “Glen Johnson knocked out Roy in a scary knockout. This was a scary one because this was after the Tarver one. But the Tarver one, he was conscious but f*cked up. This one’s even scarier because he (Roy) bangs the back of his head when he goes down.”
“Whenever a guy is coming off a KO, the odds of him getting KO’ed again go up. It depends on the person, (with) some of them it doesn’t go up at all, some of them it only goes up slightly,” concluded Joe.
Followed by this, both Rogan and Brian advocated for bigger-sized referees when officiating heavier athletes. As per Rogan, someone like Marc Goddard and Big John McCarthy would be ideal when officiating a heavyweight or light-heavyweight fight in the UFC.