Joe Rogan Explains USADA’s Absence and Its Consequences With Alistair Overeem, Randy Couture Examples

Published 02/02/2024, 5:03 AM EST

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Joe Rogan is an MMA pundit who’s been on the scene ever since the sport found a significant fanbase. It only stands to reason that he’s one of the oldest spectators and insiders of the sport at the same time. He’s seen many fighters emerge, conquer, and eventually, retire. So what’s different between older fighters and the newer ones?

Joe Rogan has a lot of good things to say about a lot of fighters but he tries to make sure he is never partial in his analysis. Being a color commentator is all about saying what he sees. And he was there when the USADA hadn’t quite come in yet. So what difference did it make to the old generation? Here’s what he said.

Joe Rogan talks about Randy Couture and Alistair Overeem


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Randy Couture was UFC’s very first double champ. The first of the nine fighters to become a champion in multiple divisions and he was a force of nature. The former lightweight and heavyweight fighter has many records to his name and even after the age of 40, he was still good at it.

He is one of the only two fighters in the UFC to have ever won a championship title after crossing 40. And not many can do so. But perhaps was it all because there was no organization governing the use of PEDs? Or at least that’s what Joe Rogan implied in the #2093 episode of The Joe Rogan Experience.


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“But Randy Couture was world-class when he was 40.” Said Rogan. “He was world-class when he was 40, but also, there was no USADA back then. I mean Alistair Overeem isn’t Alistair Overeem with USADA, this is not the same thing, this is not what you pay for. “

Alistair Overeem was also once known as ‘Ubereem’ for his insane and large physique. The look of shock on Joe Rogan’s face upon seeing Overeem at UFC 141 will forever be etched in everyone’s memory. But perhaps Rogan is correct about the PED usage. However, with the USADA out, Drug Free Sport International is the organization taking care of it all. But why is it so tough to keep up the fight once the prime has passed?

Older fighters trying to make it


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If you sit down to think about the fighters who have made it big after 40, the list won’t be long. It would include Glover Teixeira, Daniel Cormier, and of course, Randy Couture. So why do many fighters only make it young? It’s simple, in a sport of blood, longevity becomes an important detail. Even Joe Rogan emphasizes that.

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Younger fighters have taken less damage to their bodies overall. This makes them healthier and puts them in a position where recovery is faster and just the bodies heal better too. With age and time, things slow down. Some fighters fall out of their prime and almost become completely defeated by age. A tragic example is none other than Tony Ferguson who was once one of the most feared athletes in the sport.


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Do you think ‘El Cucuy’ can still come back at the age of 39?


Written by:

Prit Chauhan


One take at a time

I'm Prit Chauhan, and I'm a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. I've been in the writing business for three years, covering areas like mass media marketing, and even tried my hand at fiction. My experience includes research work at the University of California, Berkeley, which helps me spin fact-based stories about the world of Mixed Martial Arts effortlessly.
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Edited by:

Joyita Das