Joe Rogan typically does a great job interviewing UFC athletes following their fights, but one of the more recent trends is that the longtime commentator doesn’t interview fighters who lost by knockout. They are often confused and emotional, and the general perception is that it’s unfair to stick a live microphone in the face of someone who just had their brains scrambled in front of 20,000 screaming fans.
At UFC 214, Rogan broke his own rule when he interviewed Daniel Cormier following a vicious knockout at the hands of new light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (it should be stated that it’s not a black and white rule, more of a general guideline). Cormier was visibly upset during the interview. He was crying and seemed barely able to focus.
The next day, Rogan took to social media to issue a heart-felt apology:
My apologies to D.C. And to everyone else upset at me for interviewing him after the fight. In all honestly I was kind of in shock and I don’t think I realized what I was doing until I had a mic in my hand and I was talking to him. I’ve said that I don’t want to interview fighters after they’ve been KO’ed and then I did it to someone that I care a great deal about. It was 100% my f**k up and no one pressured me to do it. I posted a series of tweets about it on twitter but I know some of you folks only use Instagram or Facebook so I thought the right thing to do is post it here as well. I was beating myself up about it all night, and whenever something like that happens it’s always my sincere intention to apologize and express my honest feelings. It’ll never happen again.
UFC president Dana White was asked about the Rogan/Cormier interview, and he insisted that no one from the UFC told Rogan to do it.
“They told Rogan not to do the interview with him,” White said. “Rogan did it (anyway). You have to let the guy talk. I think you have to let the guy talk.”
As someone who works in sports media, I understand the importance of wanting to hear from the losing side of an athletic contest. But talking to a pitcher who gives up a walk-off home run or a quarterback who throws a game-ending interception is a completely different thing than putting a mic in front of someone who was just given a massive concussion via a kick to the head and a flurry of elbows and punches from one of the most dangerous fighters in UFC history.
Rogan is great at his job, and it will be a sad day in UFC history when he finally decides to move on. However, he definitely screwed up at UFC 214 and was a big enough man to own up to it and say he was sorry. Of course, that didn’t stop the UFC from posting the video of the interview on their YouTube page.
Here is another video of the overhead cam following Cormier for about two minutes after the fight was stopped. He is clearly disorientated and trying to leave the cage, only for UFC officials to stop him. The interview with Rogan was still a couple minutes after this video ends.