As much as I enjoy one-half of the UFC's broadcasting team, it pains me to say that I cringe every time the phrase "world class Brazilian Jiu Jitsu" comes out of Joe Rogan's comedic mouth.
After calling out of work due to too much unwatched MMA on my DVR, I spent 75 percent of my day watching countless UFC-Unleashed programs and the other 25 percent watching all of the WEC's broadcasts from the previous year or so.
It seemed that every match Rogan announced at least one, if not both, fighters either had "world class", "great", or "extremely underrated" BJJ skills.
It's one thing to achieve the level of black belt in BJJ, it's completely the opposite demonstrating those skills in the Octagon. It even forced myself to want to ask Joe Rogan if graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in psychology meant that you had "world-class" psychology skills. (The reference here is a sibling that indeed graduate from Syracuse, who has virtually zero human interaction skills. She is now training clients on propriety software for a financial company.)
Don't get me wrong, there is no other color guy in the industry that I would rather listen to announce a fight. His razor sharp quips such as "He just spun into the smell-my-butt guard" and "Rolling around with Karo is like rolling around with an angry chimp" leave me chuckling long after the match is over.
Watching the Dustin Hazlelett-Tamdon McCrory fight left me baffled when Joe spent far more time praising the BJJ skills of McCrory even after Dustin spun the tall, lanky 22-year-old into a human pretzel.
Before Anderson Silva's fight with Travis Lutter, Joe declared Lutter's "world class" BJJ as what could be the deciding factor for a win against the Spider. Really??? Granted, Lutter was rolling with someone actually deserving of that title, but if Lutter has world class BJJ, than why does Rogan describe Frank Mir, BJ Penn, and Big Nog's BJJ with the same distinction ?
It seems like anyone who can maintain a full guard for over 15 seconds has suddenly proven their "phenomenal" BJJ skills to the guy. It has to be the most overused statement in his handbook.
While spending the remainder of my mental health day watching the WEC's Frank Mir doing the color on his fights, he would go so far as too disagree with his partner whenever (insert WEC's play-by-play guy's name here) would declare Wagnney Fabiano's BJJ the reason why he was dominating Akitoshi Tamura. Frank said "if Fabiano wants to have a chance against the other 145ers out there, he's going to have to improve a lot more than just his Jiu-Jitsu."
Throughout the two full WEC cards I watched while ducking work, the only time the phrase "outstanding" or "world class" BJJ was uttered out of Frank's mouth was when he was describing the skills of Miguel Torres and Urijah Faber (no argument here).
Frank also called sweep after sweep and transition after transition just before they actually happened, and noticed a few guillotine chokes before the fighter applying them knew that he was about lock one up.
What Frank lacks in comedic value, he more than makes up for in technical assessments of fights. But the opposite can be said about Rogan.
The real question is : Not who is more qualified to provide color to a fight, but what do MMA fans prefer while watching?
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!