Joe Rogan warns fighters outside UFC that they are often ‘wasting their career’: ‘No one’s watching’

Joe Rogan knows the UFC is the biggest show in combat sports and he hopes the fighters realize that as well.

The comedian, podcast host, and UFC color commentator spends a lot of his time watching fights and enjoying combat sports, but he recognizes the difference in scale, production and most importantly eyeballs that watch the UFC versus other organizations like the PFL or ONE Championship. While Rogan often praises fighters competing in different promotions, he knows there is a vast difference when it comes to finally making it to the big time in the UFC.

“No disrespect to the other organizations, there’s very good fighters in the other organizations, but I often feel like they’re wasting their career,” Rogan said on his podcast. “Because I see these elite fighters that are fighting in Bellator and PFL and I’m like, ‘Hey guys, no one’s watching.’ I mean, some people are watching, you’re getting a little bit of a fan base, I don’t want to disrespect, but there’s a reality.

“There’s the XFL, there’s the CFL, and then there’s the f****** NFL. If you’re not in the f****** NFL, are you really playing football? That’s just how it is.”

There’s no argument that the UFC remains the biggest organization in MMA by a wide margin, especially when factoring in pay-per-view sales, plus lives gates with tickets and television ratings.

Meanwhile, Bellator, which was previously owned by Paramount, was effectively handed over to the PFL in a no-cash transaction because the organization just wasn’t profitable.

If Rogan had his way, top-ranked fighters would all compete in the UFC because he knows that’s where the brightest spotlight will shine on them, versus almost wasting away in other organizations that just don’t get nearly as much attention.

“If you’re the UFC champ, you’re the f****** man,” Rogan said. “If you’re the Bellator champ, I respect the s*** out of those guys. I love them. Guys like Johnny Eblen, same thing. He’s a freaking animal. I really wish that guy would come to the UFC.

“If you’re a UFC champion, the promotion is just unparalleled. There’s nothing like it. I mean everybody knows who you are when you’re the UFC champion.”

It’s not exactly a trade secret that the UFC provides the biggest platform where fighters can thrive at a much larger scale than other promotions in combat sports.

Rogan knows that deep down everyone wants to feel the energy that comes along with the UFC, because there’s just nothing else like it.

“There’s this feeling of being in the UFC that everybody who wants to be a fighter dreams of,” Rogan said. “You want to be there when Bruce Buffer is right in front of you going, ‘It’s time!’ You’re like, holy s***!”

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