Like Apple Computers, the success of the UFC rests in large part on a look and feel that is at once difficult to define, and defining. The UFC is a cross between a sporting event and a rock concert, where everyone is edgy with tension, waiting for the HOLY F@$%ING $#!@ moment that will punctuate their evening.
Central to that look and feel is color commentator Joe Rogan, who began working for the UFC at UFC 12: Judgment Day, when the sport was less than four years old.
At UFC 171, Tyron Woodley fought Carlos Condit, getting the better of him in the fight, before a double leg takedown injured Condit's leg, ending things shortly afterwards, at 2:00 of Round 2.
At several points in the fight, Rogan referenced Woodley's endurance.
"It's fun to hit that gas, but you're not going to make it to Vegas." said Rogan two minutes into the fight, as transcribed by MMAFighting. A minute later he said "Woodley's slowing down already." And at the opening of the second round, Rogan continued. "You can see his stomach moving. He's taking some deep breaths. It's certainly not the Tyron Woodley that came out in the first round, fresh."
The simple fact is that Tyron Woodley does seem to do better earlier in a fight than later. In his last five fights, he beat Josh Koscheck and Jay Hieron spectacularly in the first, and lost to Jake Shields in three, and was KOed by Nate Marquardt in the fourth.
At the end of the night, Rogan said he would like to see Rory MacDonald get the next title shot at Johny Hendricks (rather than Woodley or Hector Lombard or Nick Diaz, etc.)
However things may have appeared to a neutral observer, in an interview with MMA Mental, Woodley took pointed exception to Rogan's remarks, and offered how the fight felt from his perspective.
"It's almost like they're punishing you for training hard," said Woodley. "They're punishing you for being physically fit. I think Joe Rogan is horrendous for his commentary that he did for that fight. Everything was, 'Oh, Tyron threw a hard bomb but Carlos took it. He's got such a great chin. Oh, Tyron has a takedown. Look at Carlos. He's doing the mission impossible guard.' Everything that I did he was leaning it towards the credit of Carlos Condit.
"I think sometimes when you watch a fight and you listen to the commentary you can kind of veer the spectators, and hopefully not the UFC, in directions it shouldn't be going."
"I was not wincing. I was not in any harm or any danger at any point in the fight. My cardio felt great and it was even in my gameplan to increase the level in the third round. I wasn't even at full speed. People say, 'He started off hard! He started off in a full sprint!' I didn't even start off in a full sprint. If they think that's a full sprint for me, then I'm happy with it because they haven't seen a full sprint yet."
A number of fans on the UG had questioned Rogan's choice of MacDonald as the next title contender, and Rogan answered.
"The production had a list of fighters that are listed in the top contenders that they wanted me to pick one guy to challenge the title after the end of the event," explained Rogan. "It's only my opinion and it certainly doesn't mean that fighter will get the next shot. The reason I went with Rory is what I stated: I thought Woodley looked awesome, but the reality is Carlos blew his knee out on the take down and then it gave out when Tyron kicked him. Tyron was really impressive in the opening of the 1st with his insane speed and ability to close the distance and I would LOVE to see him fight anyone. For the title or not. The guy is a stud. It was just my opinion given the information in front of me after that event that if I had to choose one guy I would have to go with Rory."
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