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Known for his out-of-the-box thinking, Joe Rogan once again shared his thoughts on how to make MMA even more challenging. The veteran commentator has courted controversy in the past with his views on head strikes in UFC and this time around he shared his views on what rule changes can UFC implement to make fights more interesting.

Joe Rogan, who, has been a crucial figure in the UFC for three decades, frequently offers suggestions for improvement. In the latest episode of his podcast, he had a discussion with mixed martial arts legend Royce Gracie about the various fighting styles. Rogan believes the current set of rules in MMA favor the strikers and wrestlers more while the grapplers are at a disadvantage.

Rogan also argued that the cage format hinders MMA matches by giving an advantage to fighters who are losing. “I think the cage helps people too because it helps people stand back up. If you get a guy down in an open room, like a basketball court, there’s nothing to help him get back up,” the commentator claimed.

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The 56-year-old didn’t stop there and taking his proposal a step further, he shared his desired MMA arena style, which would involve a flat mat surface and a designated “red zone” that would lead to a point deduction for fights who enter it. ” I think it would be better if it was like a basketball court, just a flat mat on a basketball court with a warning track. If you’re in the red zone, you have to get out of it,” he added.

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Further elaborating on his idea the host reiterated, “If you keep retreating to the red zone, maybe they take a point away from you. A basketball court is a big space with plenty of room. You start in the center, and that’s how you fight.” Meanwhile, UFC is not the only promotion that was offered advice as Joe Rogan and his guest Royce Gracie also scrutinized the Karate Combat for their bizarre choice of mats.

The mats in the Karate Combat arena are put on the edges at an angle which seems like a big problem to the UFC commentator as he believes that it puts the fighters at a disadvantage. “I don’t necessarily think that’s the best idea because as soon as you go up against that, a lot of times guys wind up falling down and the guy just falls on top of them,” added the 56-year-old. 

Rogan’s comments about changing the rules or removing the cage might garner some debate but may not court the same controversy when he called to legalize strikes to the back of the head. Speaking on his podcast with Jorge Masvidal, Rogan said, “I don’t even know if we should stop hitting people in the back of the head, it doesn’t make any sense to me. Because a lot of knockouts, like high kicks, they wrap around the back of the shoulder and right to the back of your head and it’s legal, the guy gets KO’d.” Interestingly, Rogan reiterated some of these comments on the recent JRE episode with Gracie.

He said, “It’s weird that you can’t hit the back of the head, because the back of the head gets hit a lot. A lot accidentally, especially with head kicks. Rogan said that it baffles him that a kick to the back of the head is considered legal while if your opponent is down on the mat and you strike him on the back of the head, the referee takes a point away.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen when Dana White and UFC will decide on rule changes, especially considering Rogan also voiced his concern about the current regulation in the same conversation with Gracie, believing them to be unfair.

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Rogan wants changes to UFC regulation

In the same podcast, Joe Rogan applauded Japanese mixed martial arts promotion company PRIDE FC for its rule that the first round of every fight should be 10 minutes long. He said, “I think PRIDE had good rules, a 10-minute first round was better. I think 10 minutes is better.”According to him, the current timing does not justify the hard work of the fighters.

Agreeing with Rogan, Gracie even proposed a longer first round. The host, however, focused on rule development, arguing that the UFC has become complacent. He believes continuous evaluation and improvement are crucial for maintaining fairness and excitement in the sports.

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Rogan also criticized the frequent “stand up” by referees when the fight stalls on the ground. He believes the fighter who takes down their opponent should be rewarded with continued ground control unless the opponent escapes on their own. Ultimately, it remains to be seen when, or if, Dana White and the UFC will consider implementing Rogan’s suggestions for the rule changes, including the longer first round.

Do you think the UFC would be willing to alter their rules as suggested by Joe Rogan? Comment your thoughts below.