Rogan was on commentary duty for the latest pay-per-view event of UFC 281, where Alex Pereira went three-up over longtime foe and former champion Israel Adesanya earlier this month. Adesanya had Pereira hurt early and looked set to win on the judges’ scorecards when ‘Poatan’ unleashed a barrage of punches that earned him a standing TKO in the fifth round.
Following Pereira’s crowning moment, Rogan suggested the new 185-pound king’s weight cut worked in his favor and gave him an unfair advantage.
In a YouTube video posted on Nov. 21, Sonnen pushed back on Rogan’s comments about Pereira’s cut.
“I don’t see very often in my life the guy that pulls the most weight has the greatest return,” Sonnen said (transcribed by Sportskeeda). “I know their careers are a lot shorter. I just grew up in the world of wrestling. The guy in high school that pulled the most weight, did not go on to wrestle in college.”
“Cheating is a hell of a thing to say to a guy. Sanctioned cheating is a hell of a thing to say to a guy. There is a discussion of hydration testers, discussion of body-mass indexes, checking these things on certain days…that is done in other sports [but] that isn’t done here. If a rule doesn’t exist, then the violation couldn’t happen and no cheating took place. I would like to challenge Joe just to go a step forward and tell me about the advantage. What advantage can you fundamentally prove was given?”
Rogan Argued Pereira Got an Unfair Advantage
According to Rogan, ‘Poatan’ benefitted immensely from being able to shed massive amounts of weight.
“He could have been 220 pounds,” Rogan said via MMA Mania. “He certainly gets above that between fights. And he has a hard time making 185. It’s a bulls— thing. It’s basically sanctioned cheating. It really is. But, everybody does it. “[Israel Adesanya] barely does it,” he added.
“When Izzy moved up to fight Jan Blachowicz at Light Heavyweight he weighed 194, which is crazy because Blachowicz is a giant Light Heavyweight. Blachowicz is big powerful guy.”
“He’s so big for the weight class, which really wears you out, that weight cut,” Rogan said. “It’s a big weight cut. And with wrestling, he’s gonna have issues. Because he’s not a grappler, that’s not his forte. And he’s getting better at grappling, but when Izzy takes you to the ground and Izzy controls you, that’s not his forte, either.”
Rogan Weighed In on the Early Stoppage Controversy
Some fans and fighters alleged the stoppage by esteemed referee Marc Goddard was early. Rogan chimed in with his take on whether Goddard’s call to stop the fight was right.
“I don’t think Pereira was going to stop,” Rogan said. “He had more time, Izzy was stationary, and Pereira was gonna hit him with some big shots. We don’t need to see Izzy with his eyes rolled back into his head, flat out unconscious. I think it was a good stoppage. I can see where he’d be upset about it to, and I can see where other fights have gone on longer, and they have.
“But it’s a subjective call and [referee] Marc Goddard is one of the most satisfactory in the world, he’s top two or three.”