From Fear Factor to the UFC: Joe Rogan and His Incredible Journey

Published 05/26/2021, 3:50 PM EDT
BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 20: Joe Rogan is seen in the commentary booth during the UFC 220 event at TD Garden on January 20, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


UFC commentator, comedian, podcast host, actor, television host, martial artist are just some of the things that Joe Rogan is. He is most commonly known for his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience. However, he has been a rock in the UFC and has been with the organization since 1997.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Since then, Rogan has reached the pinnacle of the sport and is now one of the most famous people on the planet. However, the beginning didn’t seem very promising. He began with a career in stand-up after he gave up on his dream of becoming a kickboxer.

PASADENA, CA – SEPTEMBER 01: Comedian Joe Rogan performs during his appearance at The Ice House Comedy Club on September 1, 2012. in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Michael Schwartz/WireImage)

It wasn’t smooth sailing, but he went from strength to strength after a brief stint in New York. He moved to LA and found success thereafter, getting hired by Disney. His stock could only go up from there, and his stand-up comedy thrived.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

He finally joined the UFC in 1997 as backstage and post-fight interviewer. His first show took place at UFC 12: Judgement Day in Dothan, Alabama, on February 7th, 1997.

However, he quit after 2 years, and it wasn’t until after the Zuffa takeover that Dana White persuaded him to rrejoin the company.

Rogan started working on his own show with Warner Bros. Records but halted it to become the host of Fear Factor. Fear Factor skyrocketed his fame, and he became a household name in all of America. In December 2009, Rogan launched a free podcast with his friend and fellow comedian Brian Redban.

Joe Rogan and his $100 million deal with Spotify

The first episode was recorded on December 24th and was initially a live weekly broadcast on Ustream, with Rogan and Redban “sitting in front of laptops bullshitting”. The podcast did really well and earned him the universal fame that he has today.

The same podcast earned Rogan a $100M deal from Spotify. They started streaming episodes on it from September 1st, 2020. It did get its fair share of controversies, but in the end, the podcast is still going strong like Joe Rogan.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 02: (L-R) Jorge Masvidal is interviewed by Joe Rogan after his victory over Nate Diaz (doctor’s stoppage) in their welterweight bout for the BMF title during the UFC 244 event at Madison Square Garden on November 02, 2019, in New York City. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

He has been a massive inspiration to multiple people in MMA and outside of it. His podcasts have featured guests like Elon Musk and all major UFC fighters.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Meanwhile, he keeps commentating in the UFC too. It’s a remarkable exhibition of his work ethic, and fans learn a lot from him too.

Who do you think is the biggest and most significant personality in all of MMA?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Joe Rogan Posts an Inspirational Message About Conquering Your Inner B**ch

9 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Aniket Awasthi

262 articles

Aniket Awasthi is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. This STEM undergraduate combines an insatiable urge to write with his admiration for MMA and the UFC in general to enhance his journalism. He calls charismatic names like Chael Sonnen and 'The Count' Michael Bisping as his favorite fighters, but he is a great admirer of the rise of Israel Adesanya ever since he fought Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT