Reflecting on the iconic boxing record of Mike Tyson, Joe Rogan debated alongside Eddie Bravo and Brendan Schaub as to whether hypnosis played a pivotal role in his rise to glory.
One of the all-time greats in combat sports history, Mike Tyson was a feared competitor throughout his dominant region in the heavyweight division during the late 1980s.
While he might have been blessed with undeniable genetics and clearly worked harder than the rest to keep his spot on top of the boxing mountain for so many years, Joe Rogan recently weighed in on the impact of hypnosis throughout his legendary career.
Throughout the latest Fight Companion podcast, Rogan, Bravo, and Schaub got sidetracked by all sorts of martial arts-related tangents while tuning into UFC Fight Night: Felder vs Hooker.
After bringing up the remarkable career of Tyson, the group stopped to question whether or not hypnosis might have been the factor that gave him the edge throughout his run at the top.
“He hypnotized him into being a machine,” Rogan expressed, highlighting the impact of Tyson’s former manager and trainer, Cus D’amato. “You don’t exist, it’s just the task,” he emphasized.
“You relax, you totally focus on nothingness,” Tyson explained during his 2019 sit down with Rogan. “You go under and you’re just being this savage, intelligent animal.”
Questioning whether hypnosis “actually worked,” Schaub appeared to be the most resistant to the idea that it played a pivotal role in Tyson’s preparation. “For sure it had an effect,” Rogan quickly countered.
“He would get hypnotized before the fights backstage,” Bravo chimed in. All too familiar with coaching elite-level MMA talent around the world, he questioned why current UFC fighters haven’t employed the same tactic if it worked so well.
“Look at his face in his early fights. He looked like a murderer,” he joked.
Going back and forth on just how big of a role the early hypnosis might have played, Rogan explained how “there were so many factors” involved in Tyson’s rise to the top that hypnotism shouldn’t be elevated above his work ethic.
“There’s so much that led to him becoming, at least for a few years, the greatest heavyweight boxer ever,” Rogan added.
“First of all, it was his terrible childhood. Then all of a sudden he finds out he’s crazy physically gifted. He winds up with one of the all-time great boxing coaches. He’s up in the [Catskill Mountains], in this secluded environment so he can concentrate only on boxing. He’s watching this insane library of fights.”
From Rogan’s perspective, while hypnotism might have been important in building Tyson’s confidence, all of the aforementioned factors are what made him into such a dominant champion.
“I hate to be that guy, but they didn’t test back then,” Schaub commented before the conversation came to an end, hinting that Tyson’s success at the time might have been aided by some performance-enhancing drugs.
While it has only been a year since Tyson was last on Rogan’s podcast, perhaps the two will link up again in the near future to shed more light on the impact of hypnosis, and whether it was a key in Kid Dynamite’s rise to the top.