Like many sports' fanbases, the MMA community is a knowledgeable, educated bunch with high expectations when it comes to all facets of their contest of choice. The fighting arts attract a rare breed, indeed. Most anyone can watch a ball game, but MMA is an acquired taste, without a doubt.
Over the years, as the landscape of MMA has changed drastically, the sport has become more appealing to the masses than it was many years ago as an unregulated and more openly brutal form of combat arts.
The result of this change has been countless fans being captured in the deep rear-naked choke of MMA, unable to escape and being forced to tap out to the allure of this one-of-a-kind, world-class display of heart, technique, athleticism and good old-fashioned violence.
As the sport of MMA evolves, so too do its athletes and fanbase. That evolution comes through the understanding and awareness of various angles and aspects which perpetuate forward movement in both the participants and the viewers.
Education is paramount to this evolution. While all of us simply do not learn and absorb what is placed in front of us at the same rate, learning is still the very heartbeat of the evolution of MMA. Regardless of one’s level of awareness within MMA, the fighter and the fan can never stop learning—or else the roots of what we have built together will wilt and wither.
With the recent development of the UFC being featured on FOX, more fans than ever will be tuning in to get their taste of this sport. With that in mind—with so many new eyes training on MMA for the first time—it is crucial that viewers have what they are seeing explained to them.
Not too many people on the planet are educated enough, articulate enough or involved enough in MMA to do that better than commentator Joe Rogan.
Like the sport of MMA, Rogan can be an acquired taste in himself. There are more than a few critics of the long-time UFC color commentator, but most would agree the man knows this business and talks a sharp game.
Say what you will about the Joe Rogan UFC drinking game, or his delivery, but many an MMA fan has learned more by listening to Rogan than through any other outlet the sport has had to offer. Rogan's education of the average MMA fan has been crucial to awareness and knowledge within the MMA community.
There are plenty of experts out there who are no strangers to MMA and its techniques, but for every fully-aware fight fan, there are a hundred people who tune in simply looking for a train wreck. If they leave the scene of the accident, if you will, with a better understanding of the sport through Rogan’s delivery and explanation, then we all have won.
One of the top MMA minds on the planet, Eddie Bravo, could not agree more. A dear friend of Rogan’s and a man who himself has done his own share to influence the forward movement of MMA, Bravo is nothing short of an expert on the subject matter.
To hear Bravo tell it, there is no better man for the job of educating the world on MMA with the mic than Joe Rogan. Bravo took some time out from masterminding his 10th Planet jiu-jitsu system to speak with Todd Jackson of Hurtsbad MMA.
He raved about the talents of one of MMA’s greatest icons outside the Octagon, Joe Rogan
Eddie Bravo told Todd Jackson, “No doubt Joe Rogan is the best commentator in the business. He is probably the best fight commentator period.”
“He is a 10th-degree black belt in speaking.” Bravo said. “He has been doing comedy since he was 19. He can speak well under pressure. He is a great speaker, and he is super smart. He is very knowledgeable about the game.”
There are quite a few commentators in the business of MMA. Many are very talented and well-versed in what they do. Even so, Bravo feels that Rogan takes the cake. “I don't think anybody can touch him, with his enthusiasm, his delivery, his informative commentary. It would be hard to beat.”
Bravo explained, “When you look at all the commentators, Joe is definitely the most knowledgeable when it comes to jiu-jitsu. He is knowledgeable about striking as well—he was a striker his whole life before he got into jiu-jitsu.”
Even as a close friend of Rogan’s, Bravo, of course, sees room for improvement. “His wrestling terminology maybe needs some work. He understands the basics and all that, but the technical stuff, maybe not.”
Bravo pointed to other commentators who may edge Rogan out in the wrestling department. “I think Pat Militech or Frank Shamrock might have the edge on Joe when it comes to wrestling, clinches against the cage, with certain exotic takedowns or setups. Or Randy Couture, he is the best commentator when it comes to wrestling.”
In the big picture, Bravo made it clear, though, “When it comes to jiu-jitsu, enthusiasm, being able to say the right stuff and the best stuff, no one comes close to Joe Rogan. He just smashes everybody.”
So in the eyes of one of MMA’s greatest minds, Joe Rogan is the heavyweight champ of the world with a microphone. And honestly, fight fan, are you going to argue with Eddie frickin Bravo? He might slap a twister on you—watch out.
So for every guy with world-class jiu-jitsu, every kimura or fighter who gets rocked, Joe Rogan truly is the godfather of MMA education for the masses. Whether you’re sitting on a high horse knocking how he runs his game, or you’re a first time MMA viewer, then listen up—you might just learn something you didn’t know yesterday.
This man truly has become the voice of our sport; take it or leave it, but show some respect for what he is doing for the sport. MMA is better for having brought Rogan into the picture, without a doubt.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand or from official interview materials.
This article originally featured at Hurtsbad MMA. Follow us on Twitter @hurtsbadmma.