Longtime UFC commentating veteran Joe Rogan received some heat from fight fans following his criticism of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s victorious performance against Al Iaquinta over the weekend. Now a video of each of Rogan’s controversial comments from the live broadcast have been collected for viewing.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) hosted the highly anticipated fight card of UFC 223 over the weekend. The event took place Saturday night, April 7, inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Headlining the night’s event, undefeated UFC lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov faced off against Al Iaquinta for the undisputed lightweight title. “The Eagle” put on a dominant performance over his opponent, ultimately locking down a title earning unanimous decision victory over Iaquinta.
With that in mind, Joe Rogan spent much of the commentary critiquing Khabib Nurmagomedov’s performance. Check out the controversial remarks made by Rogan within the video above.
Rogan has since issued an apology for his commentary, which can be seen below:
“It is insanely rare to have a fighter as dominant as @khabib_nurmagomedov. In one of the most talent stacked divisions to go 25 and 0 is incredible, but to do it without even having a rough moment in a fight is completely unheard of.
“The closest thing to adversity he’s had to face in the Octagon before Saturday was one solid punch that was landed by Michael Johnson in a fight that was otherwise a horrifically one-sided mauling. When I’m commentating on someone that dominant I am constantly looking for cracks in their armor, and on Saturday night we saw the first of those cracks exposed by an incredibly game Al Iaquinta.
“Most people, myself included, expected the highly favored Khabib to rag doll his last minute opponent the way he’s done to everyone else he faced in the Octagon, and that was the case in the early going, but as the fight got into the later rounds Al was able to keep the fight standing and we saw some possible flaws in Khabib’s defense. Make no mistake about it, Khabib won that fight by a landslide, but it went to a decision, and that in and of itself was an upset.
“When I’m looking at a fighter as spectacularly talented as Khabib fighting a guy like Al who is an almost impossible underdog I’m not just looking at this fight, but I’m looking at openings that can possibly be exploited by the best fighters in the division. I saw some of those openings Saturday night, and I certainly found them interesting.
“In no way am I biased against Khabib, in fact I’m a massive fan of his and he’s one of my all time favorite fighters. If any of you were annoyed by my concentrating on that aspect of an incredibly dominant performance by one of the most impressive guys in the history of the division, please accept my sincere apology.
“When I commentate on fights my goal is to highlight the action and make it more exciting for the fans at home. Obviously all this is done live in real time, and if I had to go back and do it again I would often be able to do a better job. Even after all the years I’ve been commentating I still learn something new about the position with each and every event, and when that stops happening that will most likely be when I quit.”