Podcaster and UFC commentator Joe Rogan has explained in an episode of the JRE podcast with Mark Smith, that being a referee is one of the hardest jobs in the sport, calling it “so much harder than anything other than fighting.”
Joe Rogan is one of the most popular podcasters online, boasting over 10 million subscribers on his YouTube channel. The star himself has even remarked that the podcast is the “biggest thing he’s done,” which says a lot when looking through his career highlights.
From 1997 onwards, Rogan has been a commentator and interview for MMA organization UFC, and in episode 1605 of the podcast, he brought on UFC referee Mark Smith to talk about their experiences in the sport.
In a discussion about early stoppages, he remarked on how tough it can be to make the decision to halt a fight, at risk of both the fighters and the audience getting angry.
After Mark explained how it’s “the worst feeling in the world” to stop a fight either too early or too late, Joe said that he considered being a referee to be “such a difficult job, so much harder than anything other than fighting.”
Topic starts at 1:15
“Judging is kinda hard, but they can hide. Like, you’re on TV,” he said to Mark, “you’re right there. If it happens, and if it’s you that makes a bad call, then all the hate comes your way.”
He also spoke highly of the UFC referee, saying, “it’s a very difficult job, but you do it well, you do it excellent, you’re one of the best.”
Rogan also recalled the fight between Tim Sylvia and Frank Mir in 2004, in which referee Herb Dean stopped the fight after Sylvia’s arm broke. Joe revealed that the audience was booing the decision to stop the fight until he showed them a graphic video of the incident.
Topic starts at 3:35
The conversation between the two UFC stars proved to be an insight into the complicated world of refereeing, from two people who have been right at the center of the action.