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“Putin Is Legitimate… When You Watch Him Throw People Around”: Joe Rogan Defends 70-Year-Old Vladimir Putin’s Martial Arts Skills on JRE Podcast

Published 02/22/2023, 7:34 AM EST

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Martial arts is an omnipresent topic in ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ podcast, often weaving its way into the conversation one way or another. And Joe Rogan, as a UFC commentator and an accomplished martial artist himself, has a keen sense of recognizing who is the real deal when it comes to combat sports.

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During a recent episode of his podcast, Rogan discussed a hot topic of current times – gender – with his guest, Ryan Long. They spoke about the need for leniency towards transsexual individuals in today’s world, given the complexity and chaos surrounding the issue. Furthermore, Long drew a parallel between this leniency and the treatment of Russian President Vladimir Putin in his country, highlighting the common notion driving both scenarios. Upon discussing the matter, Ryan Long happened to question President Putin’s martial arts prowess, to which Joe Rogan had to jump in with a strong defense.

Joe Rogan discusses the martial artist in Vladimir Putin


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In episode #1944 of the JRE podcast, Joe Rogan and fellow stand-up comedian Ryan Long talked about the importance of embracing “craziness” in the world today. The conversation then turned towards the leniency that transsexual individuals receive, and Long drew a comparison to how Vladimir Putin gets to play sports in Russia and is allowed to win.

When the discussion moved toward 70-year-old Putin’s judo skills, Rogan, an avid supporter of the Russian President, enthusiastically defended Putin’s abilities. Rogan said, “He[(Vladimir Putin] is actually legit with Judo.” He continued, “He’s a black belt. He’s an actual black belt. Putin is a legitimate black belt. Like when you watch him throw people around…”


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Despite some initial skepticism, Ryan Long eventually came around to Rogan’s strong take on Putin as a leader and martial artist. However, Long still noted that Putin’s hockey playing is an area where he gets leniency. Long stated, “But the hockey, he plays against like, you know, high-level of professional hockey player.” He added, “They let him[win], he gets like 11 points against them… But I feel like, sometimes, the trans stuff is that where everyone just, kind of[let them have it their way].” 

The two noted the commonality between both instances has a single driving force: fear.

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However, Joe Rogan is not just a fan of Vladimir Putin’s martial artist. He also likes the kind of leader Putin is, despite his unconventional ways.

Rogan lauds Putin’s evil yet impressive approach to leading the country


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During a JRE episode with Lex Friedman, Joe Rogan and Friedman engaged in a lengthy discussion about politics. As their conversation progressed, they eventually turned their attention toward the controversial leader, Vladimir Putin. Joe Rogan and Friedman dissected Putin’s leadership style and debated his effectiveness as a leader, despite his unconventional ways that many may not agree with.

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Rogan stated, “Isn’t there always a longing for a strong man. Like the strong man leader.” He then added, “Isn’t it like a natural inclination that people have to be led by a strong man? Like Putin, like him or hate him, think he’s evil, that’s all good. But there’s no doubt that he’s strong. He’s a strong leader. I mean, he’s been running Russia for a long time and the way he’s been doing that, sort of unopposed in a ruthless manner. It’s very impressive.”


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Joe Rogan definitely people credit for their work. And with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the UFC commentator has a couple of aspects to laud the leader for. Do you agree with Joe Rogan on this? Let us know in the comments below.

Watch this story: Joe Rogan’s Body Transformation



Mayur Soni

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Mayur Soni is a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. His interest in the UFC heightened when he first saw his favorite fighter Conor McGregor knockout Jose Aldo in mere 13 seconds, in 2015. He thus got hooked on the sport.

Edited By: Rohini Kottu