UFC superstar Joe Rogan received backlash for his work as an analyst and color commentator during UFC 277.
This past Saturday, one of the most exciting main events went down when Amanda Nunes reclaimed her status as the ‘champ-champ’ after beating the former UFC women’s bantamweight queen Julianna Pena at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Their headlining bout was in stark contrast to their first outing, with Nunes completely dominating Pena from pillar to pole. Pena survived a record-breaking three knockdowns in the second round in one of the bloodiest fights in the history of the promotion.
Although Pena managed to go the full distance, her toughness had her battered from the beating she took along with the nasty cuts.
During the live broadcast of the main card, Rogan came under fire for his work on the mic for the rematch alongside Daniel Cormier, who was also on commentary duties. The two were criticized for making it seem like the contest was more competitive than it actually was.
Fans Criticized Rogan & Cormier’s Work During a Fan Q&A
There were indications of a possible bias that may have existed towards Pena. An online poster highlighted how Pena would appear to be close to winning the fight that was really lopsided in Nunes’ favor if one was to go off just the commentators.
When Cormier asked for fan questions following the event, one replied: “You would think listening to the commentary that Pena was winning or close to winning. That fight was about as one sided as you can get and yes I give Pena all the credit in the world for surviving and being one tough SOB. But commentary just sucked during the main.”
Another user questioned Cormier’s insight into the situation, where he was praising Pena when she was getting battered: “How do you keep saying how good Pena is as she’s getting elbowed over and over and over in the face.”
A poster shut down Cormier’s appreciation of Pena: “What is the deal with the commentary? Amanda destroyed that woman from bell to bell and all you clowns talked about is how awesome Pena is?!?!”
One fan directly asked him about being biased: “Why were you and Joe so biased towards Pena? Yes she is tough, but the commentary was not complimentary of Amanda. Yall just kept saying how Pena was so tough and going for subs. No talk of control time, damage, and submission defense for Amanda.”
Another tweeted simply questioning if his work reflected reality: “Why did y’all keep pretending Pena was competitive in this fight?”
Deiveson Figueiredo Fired Back at Rogan
During Saturday’s UFC 277 preliminary broadcast, Rogan labeled the co-main bout between Brandon Morena and Kai Kara-France for the interim title “the real title fight.”
“I don’t think we’re ever going to see Deiveson Figueiredo down at 125 again, and I think those two gentlemen, there’s a real good argument that Moreno won that last fight as well,” said Rogan to fellow commentators Jon Anik and Cormier (ht Mike Heck/MMA Fighting).
“So that is, in my opinion, that’s the world title fight right there.”
Deiveson Figueiredo, the reigning UFC flyweight champion, took issue with Rogan’s comments and fired back.
“I’m going to show it to him,” Figueiredo told reporters backstage at UFC 277. “Maybe there could be a friendly wager to make weight, and I’m going to show it to him.
“I’m basically going to tell him what’s up, and what’s really going to happen.”