Watching Joe Rogan train raises the question: Why doesn’t he fight instead of just talk about fighting?
Despite being 44, the 5'8", 190-pound Ultimate Fighting Championship color man looks as trim and spry as many of mixed martial arts’ best athletes. And Rogan has a legit martial arts background. A four-time Massachusetts taekwondo champion while in his teens and early 20s, Rogan has also trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai for more than a decade. There’s little doubt he could mess you up if he needed to, but the self-effacing Rogan laughs it off. “People ask me, ‘Why don’t you fight professionally?’” he says. “And I say, ‘Why —so I can get my ass kicked?’”
While martial arts have always been central to Rogan’s life, it’s his sense of humor and wit that brought him to the big time. A stand-up comic who got his big break on the hit NBC sitcom NewsRadio in the mid-’90s, he most famously went on to host the reality show Fear Factor —which makes its comeback to NBC this winter. Still, it’s fighting that helps Rogan feel at the top of his game. “I see martial arts as moving forms of meditation,” he says. “When you’re sparring or drilling techniques, you can’t think of anything else. All your bullshit goes to the back of your head. Because if it doesn’t, you’re going to get fucked up.”