MMA Guide to the Joe Rogan Experience, Volume II

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Underground Blogger Jack Brown is “The Part-Time Martial Artist,” offering a full-time fan’s perspective on UFC and major MMA news, developments, and hypotheticals.

In his lastest Underground Blog, he covers the Joe Rogan Experiece, again.

Six months ago, I gave you volume one, but there have been many more episodes of the JRE podcast since then.  At the beginning of July, Joe, and producer and co-host Brian Redban, were up to episode 236.  Six months later, they’re on episode 306.  Over the course of those seventy episodes there have been multiple appearances by the comics that JRE fans have come to know and love (Andrew Dice Clay, Ari Shaffir, Bert Kreischer, Joey Diaz, Bryan Callen, Duncan Trussell, Tom Segura, Doug Stanhope, Dom Irrera, Dave Attell, and many more).  There have also been some mind-blowing guest appearances (Dr. Peter Duesberg – episode 282, John McAfee – episode 290, Dennis McKenna – episode 298, just to name a few).  But don’t worry, UG, there have also been a bunch of MMA-related episodes for you to enjoy.  I’ve listened to every minute of every episode and pulled out the best for you.  So once again, consider me your humble shaman as I guide you through everything MMA that has occurred on the JRE since mid-summer.

MMA-related guests and episodes

Tito Ortiz – episode 247
Tito was a guest that many MMA fans had hoped would one day appear on the JRE, and they got their wish with this episode.  Not everybody loves Tito, but most wanted to hear what he had to say.  The recently retired, UFC Hall-of-Famer, came on the show as a way of making up for missing that final post-fight chat with Joe (Forrest must still wince when he thinks of that).  They talked about many things including Tito’s time in the cage.  Of course, some of Tito’s famous exploits outside of the cage were discussed as well.  It’s a must-listen for an MMA fan. 

Mac Danzig – episode 267
Danzig, the TUF 6 champion and renowned vegan, was a natural fit for the JRE.  Opinionated, artistic, and intellectual, as well as a gritty and talented veteran of the UFC, Danzig’s episode did not disappoint.  Listeners learned all about Danzig’s past and his current mindset when it comes to health and fighting.  Danzig’s reflections on training and head injuries were particularly compelling.  After his appearance, Danzig also began a podcast of his own.  Now, a few episodes in, Danzig has begun to hit his stride with an episode featuring guests Dan Hardy and Forrest Griffin (Forrest is everywhere).

Tait Fletcher – episode 269
Fletcher, a retired MMA fighter who was on Ken Shamrock’s team on TUF 3, had been mentioned several times before on previous episodes of the JRE.  That’s because Fletcher is one of Joe’s good friends and his former bodyguard.  In the past, however, it was Fletcher’s protein-powered flatulence that Joe was discussing.  In this episode, Fletcher demonstrated that he has a lot more going for him than deadly gas.  The rapport was solid, and the conversation was wide-ranging, making for another great podcast.

Brian Rose and Nic Gabriel – episode 271

Not many would have expected this episode to appear on this list.  However, if an MMA fan skipped over this one, he or she would be missing out on one of the best discussions about BJJ and training that Joe has ever had on the JRE.  Rose and Gabriel have a weekly internet show, “London Real.” The show, situated in London, is similar to the JRE in terms of the range of guests and discussions.  Rose and Gabriel met at the Roger Gracie Academy a number of years ago, and both are skilled in BJJ.  Rose has his purple belt and Gabriel is a Roger Gracie black belt and instructor.  The conversation did touch on more serious subjects, but the best stuff came when Joe and his guests were comparing BJJ to other martial arts. 

Victor Conte – episode 277
This is another episode that does not immediately make someone think of MMA.  Conte is best known for his infamous connection to Barry Bonds and his founding of BALCO.  However, Conte is now working with MMA fighters like AKA’s Kyle Kingsbury.  This episode made headlines for some of Conte’s salacious descriptions about his time in prison (including hookers), but there was enough PED and MMA discussions to make it of interest for an MMA fan.

Eddie Bravo – episode 292
It had been a while, but the veteran guest of the JRE (nearly 20 episodes) returned after a few months in between visits.  The recent birth of his first child might have had something to do with that, but it was good to have one of Joe’s closest friends back on again.  As I explained in volume one, Bravo is one of the most accomplished and influential figures in modern BJJ.  The advanced Jean-Jacques Machado black belt, creator of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, and successful musician, is a 21st century renaissance man.  He’s usually at his best when he’s discussing his other, more obtuse, obsessions (chemtrails and other government conspiracies), but he’s always interesting.  Hopefully, there will continue to be more Eddie Bravo, and maybe even some Renato Laranja (it didn’t work out so well that one time, but…).

Josh Barnett – episode 302
This was Barnett’s second appearance on the JRE, and maybe a sign of things to come.  He and Joe seem to have a great chemistry.  Their conversations, mostly about cars and MMA and all things dangerous, never lag.  Barnett, a legend in the sport, is still very relevant.  He’s likely to be making his long-awaited return to the UFC this year after he fights on the Strikeforce finale.  It would be great promoting to have him on again once his first UFC opponent is announced. 

Matt Vengrin – episode 303
This recent episode was a bit of a departure from the “average” JRE guest, but it definitely resulted in a compelling listen that was relevant for an MMA fan.  Vengrin is a poker pro who makes his money down in Mexico.  Poker and MMA have intersected before, and the game is a lucrative interest for guys like Bruce Buffer and Mike Swick.  But Vengrin’s connection to MMA is that he has been a “mental” coach for veteran UFC fighters, Martin Kampmann and Cung Le.  The nature of such an endeavor made it difficult for Vengrin to provide many specifics, but it was still remarkable to know that fighters would utilize him in this capacity.  It’s worth a listen, especially if you also like poker.

Updated wish-list for future MMA-related guests

In Volume one, my wish-list for future guests included Dana White, Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar, the Diaz brothers, Chris Leben, War Machine, and Steven Seagal.  Not one has yet appeared on the JRE, but I still look forward to the possibility that they will one day join Joe and Redban.  In the meanwhile, here are some more individuals that I’d like to see/hear on the JRE:

Rener and Ryron Gracie
If you don’t know these two yet, you’ve been missing out.  They’ll definitely be the subject of a future blog.  I know that you recognize the name Gracie, but these two brothers are the sons of Rorion Gracie.  Rorion is the second oldest son of Helio Gracie, the creator of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.  Rorion is also one of the original founders of the UFC.  Rener and Ryron created Gracie University, the world’s largest online Jiu-Jitsu training program.  But it’s the numerous “Gracie Breakdowns” that these two have been posting on YouTube that have shown the world the infectious enthusiasm that these Gracie brothers bring.  I think that Joe, along with the audience, would love to hear all about the Gracie clan.  You really couldn’t go wrong having a number of the Gracies on the JRE (Rose, Renzo, Royce, Rickson, Rorion, Cesar, just to name a few).  So let’s start with these two and take it from there. 

Dan Hardy
I was convinced that I had already heard Hardy on the JRE, but I double-checked and I couldn’t find it.  The colorful Brit, veteran UFC fighter, seeker (of things like Ayahuasca ), tattoo aficionado, and good friend of Joe’s, would be a natural fit for several hours of far-ranging discussions.  As a father of two young sons who’s Legos have taken over our home, I’d also like to hear more about Hardy’s obsession with the classic building toys.   

Kenny Florian
The retired UFC veteran, who was a contender at both lightweight and featherweight, is currently the Joe Rogan of the UFC’s B-team broadcasts.  Along with Jon Anik, who does the play-by-play, Florian has been providing color commentary on the UFC’s FUEL TV events.  Like Rogan, he is knowledgeable and entertaining.  But it’s Florian’s Twitter account that shows his wit as well as his wide range of interests.  I believe he’s now living in southern California (or he is at least bicoastal – not that there’s anything wrong with that).  So I don’t know what’s stopping these two from getting together and giving us a podcast.

BJ Penn
Who doesn’t love BJ?  The Prodigy has a million stories to tell, and I want to hear them all.  Before I die, I want to visit BJ in Hawaii and train at his gym for a few hours.  But for now, I’ll settle for a few hours of listening to that accent and all that wisdom as he opens up with Joe.

Quinton Jackson
Rampage, the Pride and UFC legend and former champ, had a beef with Joe a while back.  But I believed they “squashed” that.  Rampage has proven in his interviews with Ariel Helwani that he can talk for days and never bore us.  However, I’d love to hear Joe take the conversation into the territories that respectable journalists like Helwani just can’t dare to go.  Rampage is the real deal, has done it all on several continents, and I want to hear him let loose on the JRE.

Who do you want to hear on the JRE?

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Thanks for reading,