Joe Rogan: " I am only going to do North American pay-per-view"
Joe Rogan will still be calling fights for the UFC, he just won't be there for as many of them.
The veteran UFC color commentator had contemplated leaving the promotion this year as his contract came to an end and his commitments outside of fighting were starting to take up the bulk of his time.
Rogan does stand-up comedy all across the country as well as host a top-rated podcast and the busy UFC schedule added to his routine was really starting to monopolize the little bit of free time he had left in his life.
"At one point in time, I was not going to work for the UFC anymore," Rogan revealed on his most recent podcast. "I was just going to do these 'fight companion' podcasts that I do with Eddie Bravo and Brendan Schaub and Bryan Callen sometimes and other people sometimes when those guys are out of town. I did one recently with Joey Diaz, it was one of the best ones ever.
"But what the 'fight companions' are is we just sit around, we watch the fights and we talk some (expletive). I'm not working that way. I just work a little bit too much."
Rogan says his passion for mixed martial arts has never diminished, but the amount of time he has to travel to shows and call the fights has been an arduous journey over the past couple of years.
He never took for granted how much he loved working for the UFC or being the most recognizable voice calling some of the biggest fights over the past 20 years, but Rogan admits all of his work commitments were starting to pile up on him.
"I love it. It's a very exciting job and it's an honor to be able to do, but it's work," Rogan said. "It requires energy and it requires focus and I feel like at the end of the day, you only have so much energy and so much focus.
"You could be in a situation where you are almost too fortunate and you have too many things you enjoy and that's kind of where I found myself."
Rogan also contemplated leaving the UFC when the promotion was recently sold to new owners at WME-IMG for $4 billion. What made Rogan opt to stay was that his friend and UFC president Dana White was staying on to run the promotion or he probably wouldn't have bothered re-upping with the promotion.
With White still on board, Rogan will remain with the UFC, although in a diminished role as he scales back the number of fights he'll work in any calendar year.
"That's it. No more FOX shows, no more long international flights, because first of all, those things (expletive) wreck your body. They would wreck me," Rogan said.
"Like I just got back from Italy, it would take me at least four or five days before I felt normal again. Your body's all (expletive) up, you're jet-lagged, you're confused, you're exhausted, you feel like you're at 60-percent all the time. You're always trying to push through and it's a drag."
Commentators like Brian Stann and Kenny Florian have already been calling the action for UFC Fight Night cards on FS1 and former title-contender Dan Hardy has also worked on some international broadcasts.
The UFC has made no official announcement about who might fill in for Rogan on FOX cards or the international pay-per-views, but with Stann, Florian and Hardy already on board, there are plenty of options available.