Longtime UFC commentating veteran Joe Rogan has been receiving some heat from fight fans following his commentating at the highly anticipated UFC 223 event over the weekend. Now the veteran voice of the UFC has come forward with a statement.
UFC 223 went down inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday night, April 7. Headlining the night’s card, undefeated UFC lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov faced off against Al Iaquinta in a battle for the undisputed UFC lightweight title.
Nurmagomedov came in as a heavy favorite, as the undefeated fighter has put on a dominant performance in his career and Iaquinta accepted the fight on just one day’s notice. In the end, Nurmagomedov earned a unanimous decision victory over his opponent.
Still, Joe Rogan offered some hefty criticism to Nurmagomedov for not putting on a more dominant performance. Taking to Instagram, the commentator has now responded to the backlash received for his recent statements.
Check it out 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.”