Decades before becoming a podcast icon and long before MMA became a mainstream sport, Joe Rogan was already commentating on UFC fights. The stand-up comedian has worn several hats during his career spanning over two decades. Over the years, Rogan has amassed a huge fanbase for himself, and much of the credit goes to his duties as a color commentator.
Having started commentating in the early days of the UFC, he has since become one of, if not the most recognized voices in the sport. However, the former kickboxer admitted to using bookmakers’ limited knowledge at the time to his advantage.
In episode #1712 of The Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan’s close friend and comedian Bert Kreischer guested on the show. The duo discusses all things comedy, MMA, and more. During a particular segment, Rogan seemed to reminisce about a time he used to gamble while still commentating for the Las Vegas-based promotion.
Joe Rogan’s First UFC appearance | Early days of UFC #mma #UFC #joerogan #jre #UFC12 pic.twitter.com/0Jodg8JA51
— Lionel Rivera (@lionelriveraMMA) February 16, 2023
“I used to gamble on fights when I was calling them in the early days of the UFC,” Rogan said. “Because there were guys [athletes] that would come in from overseas. and I knew who they were and I would gamble on them.” In a moment of morality, Joe admitted, “I was like, ‘Is this bad? Like I’m commentating and I’m also gambling. I don’t know if that’s smart because I don’t wanna be biased.”
“Guys would come in and I would say ‘Oh my god that line is totally wrong, this guy’s a killer.’ … Eight out of ten I would call them right,” concluded the former Fear Factor host.
Fans speculate Joe must have won an absurd amount of money back then, considering his impressive knowledge of the sport. Placing bets on athletes while getting paid to study their backgrounds surely must have had its perks for as long as it lasted.
Why did Joe Rogan stop betting on UFC fights?
Joe Rogan has always kept himself updated with the ongoings in the combat sports realm. After signing with the UFC in 1997, the 55-year-old used his position to strike major success in the betting world. However, he admitted to cutting it short due to worries about it influencing his commentary about the fights he has placed bets on.
In early January, the founder of Barstool Sports, Dave Portnoy appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience. The two discussed MMA, the overall betting state in the sport, and more. At one point, Rogan went back to reflecting upon his UFC betting days. However, this time he also happened to open up about why he chose to put a close to it.
Joe Rogan talks gambling on MMA in the early 2000s. pic.twitter.com/4fvPIMvNll
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) January 6, 2023
Rogan said, “I used to gamble with my business partner at Onnit, Aubrey [Marcus]. I used to gamble on the fights early on, the early days of the UFC, like the 2000s. I would just go, ‘Ah nobody even knows about Anderson Silva. Bet the house on this guy!”
After questioning his betting habits at the time, Rogan eventually stopped doing it. He’d eventually start giving Aubrey the inside tips for MMA wagers. “Then I thought about it for a while,” said Joe. “I was like, ‘Maybe this isn’t good for my commentary.’ So I just stopped doing it and I would tell Aubrey, and at one time we were like 84% winning. Bookmakers weren’t obsessed with MMA the way I was.”
If Rogan’s success percentage is anything to go by, having an 84% win rate is insane, considering how unpredictable MMA is as a sport. What do you make of Rogan’s betting habits from back in the day? Let us know in the comments down below.