Following Conor McGregor's victory over Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone at UFC 246, famed sports commentator Stephen A Smith sparked debate after accusing Cowboy of "giving up". Joe Rogan has hit back, saying Smith doesn't understand the sport.
It took just 40 seconds for McGregor to put Cerrone down, in what Smith called "an atrocious performance on [Cerrone's] part."
But veteran UFC interviewer and color commentator Joe Rogan (who is now best known for his podcast) fired back at Stephen A Smith over his comments — which had been made as both men were dissecting the fight on ESPN.
On his latest MMA podcast on January 24, Rogan explained that Stephen A Smith has "made a career from sh*t talking,", but while it works in other sports, he thinks it's a "bad idea" to carry it over to MMA.
"There's a lot of currency in being a Stephen A Smith. He's really entertaining, but that sh*t-talking that he does, you know, he's a guy that's fun to watch, he talks a lot of sh*t, and gets real loud," Rogan explained. "Look, it's made him a fantastic career, [but] he carries that over to MMA, I think it's a bad idea."
"I don't know him as a human being," Rogan continues, "I've only met him a couple times, he's a nice guy, nice guy to me, we had a nice conversation." But, Rogan explains there was a "little weirdness" between them on-air, over Smith's comments about Cerrone's performance.
Joe Rogan then said that he believes other fighters, such as his guest Josh Thompson should be the ones giving post-fight analysis, rather than people like Smith who "don't know the sport, and practice d**k punches." His comment about "d**k punches" referred to a video Smith posted on his Instagram, showing him sparring with training pads.
"I would have preferred to talk to DC, or Felder, or [Josh Thompson], or anyone who understands the sport," he reiterated. "And Stephen A Smith was very nice to me too, I have no problem with him as a human being.
"I just think– look, I don't know jack sh*t about baseball or basketball, [...] I know MMA, I understand, so if you want to talk about MMA, I'd like to talk to [someone] else who knows about MMA."
Rogan went on to explain that MMA requires a "different perspective," arguing that it's "not the same as a ball going into a hoop, it's not the same as crossing a line with a football. It's very intense, it's personal, and it's also very f**king dangerous. And, to play it off like it's just a game, I just don't agree with it."
He concluded by saying that Stephen A Smith's style of inflammatory commentary works well in other sports, but that MMA is not the place for it.