Joe Rogan is one of the most iconic voices in MMA. The UFC color commentator has been calling the action in the octagon long before many UFC fans were born. Having done this job for so long, it is fair to assume that he gets paid handsomely for his efforts. So how much does Joe Rogan earn from his role as a UFC commentator?
Well, after the UFC asked Rogan to come work for them in 1997, Joe actually covered his first 12 events for free. Now, in 2023, after over 25 years of employment, the UFC compensates Rogan very generously for his work. Okdork estimates that the former Fear Factor host earns around $50000 for every event he covers.
The UFC holds around 40 events a year and Joe doesn’t cover all of them. However, even if he covers half, i.e., 20, he still takes home a cool million dollars a year just from his role as a UFC commentator.
When did Joe Rogan start working for the UFC?
Joe Rogan’s first gig with the UFC came, as mentioned before, in 1997. The very first event he covered was UFC 12: Judgement Day in February 1997. However, Joe did not call the action at that event. Instead, he was a backstage and post-fight interviewer on that night in Alabama.
Joe’s first event as a commentator was UFC 37.5, five years later in 2002. On the JRE, he recounted how Dana White managed to convince him to commentate on UFC events despite his initial reluctance. Joe said, “He [Dana White] was like ‘do you want to do commentary?’ and I was like ‘I don’t want to do commentary, man. I’m here to get drunk and watch people kick the sh** out of each other, I’m not here to work’. “
He continued, “And he talked me into it for one show UFC 37 and a half, it was a show that was on one of those Fox Sports networks… I think it was the best damn sports show period… I did that and the rest is history.” Although, contrary to popular belief, UFC 37.5 was not the start of Joe Rogan’s 2-decade-long stint as a UFC commentator.
It was from UFC 40 and onwards that Joe became a regular presence in the UFC commentary booth. And until his firing in 2016, Mike Goldberg was Joe’s partner as they called the action in the octagon for the fans watching at home.
Joe Rogan’s UFC retirement plans
Back in 2014, the unthinkable nearly happened as Joe Rogan was having second thoughts about his future with the UFC. At the time, he felt that his role as a UFC commentator was consuming too much of his time. Joe went on record to say, “At one point I was doing 24 a year, it was way too many. It was like half of the weekends of the year, I was flying somewhere to go to the UFC. It was too much.”
But he managed to find the right balance by cutting back his hours with the UFC. And now, Rogan doesn’t plan on retiring anytime soon. However, he did lay out a scenario that would entail his retirement. Joe said that he would follow Dana White if the UFC President ever walks away from the company. All UFC fans will be hoping that this day is far, far away.
Joe Rogan’s Spotify deal and his net worth
In 2020, music and podcast streaming giant, Spotify, acquired the rights to exclusively stream The Joe Rogan Experience on their platform. It was initially reported that the multi-year deal was worth around $100 million. However, it was later clarified by several sources such as Forbes and the NY Times that the Spotify deal was closer to the $200 million mark.
Owing to Joe’s Spotify deal, and a few smart investment decisions, Joe Rogan has earned vast amounts of wealth. His net worth, as of 2023, is estimated to be somewhere around $120 million. Despite being so rich that he could retire if he chose, Rogan still has the same passion for the sport of MMA as he did in 1997. And this is why most fans love Joe Rogan so much despite some fans turning on him.