UFC commentator Joe Rogan was noticeably absent from the UFC 271 broadcast team Saturday night. It was originally announced he had a “scheduling conflict,” although most speculated that it had more to do with the controversy surrounding past comments by him on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast that ranged from misinformation regarding COVID-19 to rampant use of the N-word.
Michael Bisping replaced Rogan on commentary for the pay-per-view event. Rogan still managed to find his way into the broadcast despite the “conflict,” though; he texted blow-by-blow announcer Jon Anik with an observation that Israel Adesanya may have injured his right hand during his victory over Robert Whittaker, something Adesanya denied after the fight.
UFC 271: Adesanya beats Whittaker in close contest, retains middleweight title
UFC President Dana White debunked the scheduling conflict rumor in his postfight press conference. He made it sound as if Rogan pulled himself off the broadcast.
“There was no conflict of schedule,” White said. “Joe Rogan did not work tonight.
“Joe Rogan could have worked tonight but he elected not to. There was no ‘Joe can not work tonight’ or anything like that.”
White did not go into further detail regarding Rogan’s absence, but he wanted to make it clear that it had nothing to do with any conflict that could not be resolved.
“I know (rumors that Rogan was not allowed to work) came out, but it’s total bulls—,” White said.
White would not put a date on when Rogan would be back on commentary. His next scheduled appearance is for UFC 272: Covington vs. Masvidal in Las Vegas on March 5.
“Whenever he’s going to work again, he’ll be working,” White said.