MMA Guide to the Joe Rogan Experience

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Underground Blogger Jack Brown is “The Part-Time Martial Artist,” offering a full-time fan’s perspective on UFC and major MMA news, developments, or hypotheticals. He earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do a decade ago from Joe Rogan’s teenage alma mater Jae H. Kim in Boston, and currently trains at Lauzon MMA.

In his third blog, he offers an MMA fan’s breakdown of the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast.

Many of us are already well aware of the virtues of the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) podcast, but for those of you who are not, we truly envy you.  You, the uninitiated, have ahead of you a vast archive to explore via iTunes, Stitcher, etc., that is well over 200 podcasts large and that dates back to the initial broadcast from December, 2009.  At an average of 2-3 hours per podcast, we’re talking about more than three weeks of continuous listening.  That’s not the way you should go about it of course.  You would likely die.  So let me guide you, MMA fans.  Consider me your humble shaman.

The JRE, always hosted by Joe, who is usually accompanied by producer and sidekick, Brian Redban, is broadcast live a few times per week, generally Monday through Thursday.  Fans can go to to watch live via Ustream or to download or stream the episodes shortly after they air.  In general, the JRE is not MMA focused, but with Joe, MMA is always a topic of interest that threatens to enter the conversation.  However, comedy, cannabis and other psychedelics, computers and cars, movies and music and television, aliens and ancient ruins, kettlebells and coconut water, and wild animals threaten to enter the conversation as well.  The JRE’s guests have been incredibly diverse, ranging from actors, comedians, and musicians to Egyptologists, activists, and porn stars.  Non-MMA related guests have included Kevin Smith, Bobcat Goldthwait, Everlast, Tommy Chong, John Anthony West, Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Dice Clay, Jim Norton, Dom Irrera, Giorgio Tsoukalos, Bert Kreischer, Duncan Trussell, Bill Burr, Ari Shaffir, DEADMAU5, Bryan Callen, Doug Benson, Adam Carolla, Dane Cook, Ricky Schroder, Ralphie May, Russell Peters, Iliza Schlesinger, Andy Dick, Dana Dearmond, Sam Tripoli, Tom Segura, Graham Hancock, Charlie Murphy, Dave Attell, Michael Ruppert, Shane Smith, Amy Schumer, Daniele Bolelli, John Heffron, Daniel Pinchbeck, Neal Brennan, Freddy Lockhart, Nick Swardson, Brendon Walsh, Dave Foley, Tom Green, Joey Diaz, and many more.  But for those of you who live and breathe MMA, the list of MMA related guests and episodes below may be the best place to get started.  Enjoy.

Top JRE MMA related guests and episodes:

Eddie Bravo (Multiple episodes, #s 13, 24, 30, 35, 36, 39, 54, 93, 117, 144, 160, 168, 174, 180, 206, 213, and 236) – Eddie is Joe’s good friend and frequent guest and an extremely accomplished and influential figure in modern MMA.  He is an advanced BJJ black belt under Jean-Jacques Machado, and he submitted Royler Gracie in Abu Dhabi in 2003.  He is also the creator of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, a no-gi style of BJJ that emphasizes the rubber guard.  10th Planet has locations all over the world, and Joe Rogan just recently received his black belt at the headquarters in Burbank, California.  There’s usually plenty of great MMA discussions whenever Eddie is a guest, but you should also expect to hear about some of Bravo’s other passions (cannabis, chemtrails, aliens, 9/11 conspiracies, music).  No matter what they’re discussing, these friends have a great rapport and always make it entertaining. 

Jason “Mayhem” Miller (Multiple episodes, #s 31, 58, 143) – Mayhem is another good friend of Joe’s and a very popular and controversial figure in MMA.  He was the host of MTV’s Bully Beatdown, a coach on TUF 14, and a veteran fighter in the UFC, Strikeforce, and Dream.  Mayhem’s been a repeat guest on the show who has been on the JRE at several key points in his career.  During his most recent appearance, on episode 143, Mayhem was joined by his manager, Ryan Parsons, who also provided some insight into the world of MMA.  Mayhem’s personality, love it or hate it, is perfect for the freewheeling JRE format.  Even though he recently retired, I’d expect that Mayhem will be making a return to the JRE sometime soon. 

Michael Schiavello (ep.47) – Schiavello is a sports commentator who has been involved in kickboxing and international MMA for a number of years.  The Australian’s voice should be well known among MMA fans or those familiar with HDNet’s The Voice Vs. show.  It was evident from his appearance on the JRE, that Schiavello and Joe are fans of each other’s work and have shared many laughs behind the scenes over the years.

Bas Rutten (ep.83) – Bas is a legendary Dutch fighter and MMA broadcaster, and his only appearance on the JRE was great for the old school MMA fan.  Bas, a retired MMA fighter and kickboxer, is a former UFC heavyweight champion, former multiple-time King of Pancrase world champion, and was the long-time color commentator for PRIDE.  Bas still works in broadcasting as he cohosts HDNet’s weekly Inside MMA show.  On his appearance on the JRE, Bas delighted Joe with tales from the early days of MMA.

Ronda Rousey (ep.168) – Each day Rousey is becoming a bigger star in MMA, and her appearance on the JRE came just a few months before she became the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion.  The former Olympian, who won a bronze medal in judo at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, is undefeated in MMA, winning all her amateur and pro fights via armbar submissions.   Rousey is not only a talented fighter, but she also has a dangerous wit.  This was on full display during her episode on the JRE.  Eddie Bravo was also in studio, and he, Joe, and Redban seemed to be just as enthralled as the rest of us.   

Chael Sonnen (ep.216) – Sonnen is a well-known MMA fighter and provocateur, who joined the JRE to promote his book.  Sonnen is a highly-skilled wrestler who has twice fought Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight championship.  Though he lost both times, Sonnen’s antics before and after the fights, and his skills during, helped make them some of the most successful and memorable fights that the UFC has ever had.  Sonnen did not disappoint in his appearance on the JRE as he continued to badmouth Silva and shared with Joe some other unique and bizarre tales.

Mike Dolce (ep.222) – Dolce is a former MMA fighter who is best known for founding The Dolce Diet.  The Dolce Diet includes bestselling books and guidelines for eating right and getting in shape.  Dolce continues to help many current MMA fighters meet their often difficult weight-cutting goals.  Joe’s good friend, fellow comic, and fight fan, Joey Diaz, joined Dolce on his episode of the JRE.  Not only did Dolce share several behind-the-scenes MMA stories, he also inspired Diaz to set some weight loss goals.  

Urijah Faber (ep.225) – Faber is another accomplished fighter whose personality is almost as big as his reputation in MMA.  Faber is a former WEC featherweight champion who will soon be making his second attempt at the UFC’s bantamweight championship.  Like Sonnen, Faber joined the JRE to promote his book.  Faber always seems at ease in interviews, and his time on the JRE was no different.

Sam Sheridan (ep.230) – Sheridan has an MMA background and is the author of the books “A Fighter’s Heart” and “The Fighter’s Mind.”  He and Joe are good friends and had an interesting discussion that covered MMA and a number of other topics.

Josh Barnett (ep.235) – This recent episode featured Barnett, a legend in the sport who is still just as relevant as ever.  Barnett is an MMA fighter, as well as a professional wrestler, who is a former UFC heavyweight champ, former King of Pancrase, and a veteran of both PRIDE and Strikeforce.  Although his first fight in the UFC was back in 2000, he is still among the top heavyweights in the world.  On his episode of the JRE, Barnett was loose and colorful and had no trouble keeping up with Joe when it came to cracking each other up.

My wish list for future JRE MMA related guests:

Dana White – It’s a no-brainer.  The UFC president and Joe go way back and they’ve both professed their affinity for each other on many occasions.  Dana’s great in interviews, full of opinions and expletives that would be welcome on the JRE.  The only difficulty here might be finding a time for Joe and Dana to actually sit still for a couple of hours.  MMA fans are used to watching these two yelling back and forth for the sixty seconds that precede each pay-per-view, but we want more.  

Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar – These two TUF 1 participants had what many consider to be the most influential fight in the history of the UFC.  Fortunately, they’re both still active UFC fighters and their careers might just be at a point where a conclusion to their trilogy would make sense.  What would be a better way to hype the fight than to have the two spend a few hours on the JRE?  Both guys are fan favorites and have unusual but engaging personalities.   Both also have a ton of media experience and have had a great rapport when they’ve appeared together in the past.  Please get it done, UFC, and then please book it, JRE.

The Diaz Brothers – Either of the enigmatic Diaz brothers, Nick or Nate, would be great for the JRE, but I’d be afraid that one, alone, might go into some silent spells every now and then.  So I figure that if you bring them both on together, they could sub in for each other like a tag team.  Nick has already provided the perfect sound-bite that opens every JRE.  Does that mean he’s a fan?  I’d be fascinated to know that and so many other things that I think only Joe can discover.

Chris Leben – Leben is another TUF 1 participant that has always been a fan favorite, an exciting fighter, and a controversial figure.  Currently out on suspension, he has recently given some very candid interviews about his difficulties with addiction.  It seems like the perfect time for him to sit down with Joe and connect with the JRE audience.  I think it would be a perfect fit.  I’d also like to hear some of those stories that Chael Sonnen hinted at when he was on the JRE.

War Machine (Jon Koppenhaver) – I’m going to have to make War Machine the focus of a future blog because that’s just how fascinated I am with this guy.  War Machine is an MMA fighter who is currently serving his second lengthy prison sentence.  Love him or hate him, this guy, via his twitter when he is free or via his prison blogs when he is incarcerated, is incredibly open and honest.  It’s some dark stuff at times, but very few have been able to articulate what he has experienced.  I think Joe could help War Machine make some sense of it all.

Steven Seagal – Sensei would certainly be Joe’s greatest challenge.  Not only would it be incredibly difficult for Joe to secure Sensei as a guest on the JRE, but how could Joe possibly muster the will to keep his BS meter from exploding as Sensei elaborates at great length on how he taught The Spider and The Dragon their “deadly secrets?”  The potential unintentional comedic value of such a JRE would be huge.  It would be unbelievable.          

Get at me with your comments and complaints on Twitter – @jackjohnbrown

In the next blog, things get a little crazy as I mess around with DNA and work on Creating the Ultimate MMA Fighter…