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Joe Rogan calls out Dana White—Is UFC sacrificing integrity for business?

Dana White has some of the best fighters on the UFC roster, but that does not mean sunshine and rainbows every day. During a recent JRE episode featuring former champion Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Joe Rogan and the guest opined on Jon Jones, who’s a big draw himself, and his oblique kicks to the knee. The duo believes that these kinds of moves could spell disaster for the UFC CEO.

‘Rampage’ Jackson has often been vocal about the negative effects on his knees that were caused due to the kicks Jon Jones landed on his knees way back at UFC 135. Citing that such acts can be detrimental to the business of MMA and to Dana White, the former UFC champion said, “So think about this, you’re a promoter and you’ve got this fighter that sells a lot of tickets. So you wanna give him at least two fights a year, but you got a guy like Jon Jones f***ing your fighters up and now they f***ing injured and they’d be lucky to come back in 2 years or something like that. It’s not good for business.”

Now, Jones is not the only fighter who uses oblique kicks. A more recent and infamous example would be Khalil Rountree Jr.‘s finish over Modestas Bukauskas back in September 2021. The middleweight star earned a TKO win over his opponent after a disgusting oblique destroyed his knees. Although many feared he had broken his leg, Bukauskas later updated that it was a knee injury.

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Rountree Jr. and Jones are not the only ones to use this kick. Conor McGregor has also employed this kick in his first UFC bout against Nate Diaz and instantly regretted throwing it. In an Instagram story, the former champion shared a snap of him landing the kick and wrote, “I actually chose not to follow thru with this kick in this exact moment. The sensation felt horrible and I backed out of following thru with it.” 

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However, he was not in favor of making these “horribly nasty kicks” illegal. According to ‘The Notorious’, it was just a matter of having your legs in the right position and avoiding getting hit with one of these, as you would with any other strike legal under the unified rule set. And sure enough, Joe Rogan had a similar take on this situation as well.

What does Joe Rogan think about Rampage Jackson’s comments about Jon Jones?

Joe Rogan would quickly weigh into that conversation, agreeing that it is a big problem in the sport. However, he did mention that there are no rules regarding those kicks that Jon Jones used on Quinton Jackson, making it legal for anyone to implement during their bouts.

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But Rogan did not shy away from speaking his mind. He truly believes that there should be some rules regarding these kicks to the knee. This could very well be one of the most important to ensure that fighters are protected from suffering potential career-ending injuries.

“It’s definitely not good for business but it’s still legal. It’s legal right now. So, it’s like, it’s hard to say. I see the point that you shouldn’t be allowed to target the knees, but then someone would say, ‘Ok, but you could roundhouse kick the knees But you just can’t sidekick it. You can’t hyperextend it,'” said Joe Rogan.

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Interestingly, this kick came close to getting banned after Rountree Jr.’s win at UFC Vegas 36. The outcry from fans and pros after the event had the MMA Rules Committee look into the matter. However, the kick remains legal, but a highly controversial move nonetheless.

It was interesting to hear Joe Rogan talk about the negative effects of Jon Jones’s fighting style because he has always been a big advocate of ‘Bones’ as the best fighter ever. But what do you think about Jon Jones’s knee kicks? Drop your comments below.