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Joe Rogan: "Non UFC fighters are wasting their time"

Longtime UFC analyst Joe Rogan's recent comments on his podcast, "The Joe Rogan Experience," regarding fighters outside the UFC have stirred a debate among MMA athletes.

During a conversation with UFC fighter Bo Nickal, Rogan asserted that if a fighter is not in the UFC, "no one's watching," implying that fighters in organizations like Bellator and the PFL are not receiving the same level of recognition.

The UFC has long been the leading MMA promotion, with Bellator as the de facto number two until its recent acquisition by the PFL, aiming to create a combined roster to rival the UFC's.

Rogan, along with UFC CEO Dana White and others, seems to doubt the potential of organizations like Bellator and the PFL to compete with the UFC in terms of viewership and recognition.

However, former UFC light heavyweight Corey Anderson, who moved to Bellator in 2020 and challenged for the title there in 2022, took issue with Rogan's remarks. Anderson shared his perspective on Instagram, highlighting how his move to Bellator significantly improved his financial situation, allowing him to focus fully on his fighting career without needing additional employment.

Anderson's comments emphasized that while the UFC may offer greater fame and fan recognition, organizations like Bellator can provide financial stability and security that may not be as easily attainable in the UFC, especially for fighters lower down the card.

Other fighters joined the discussion in Anderson's comments, sharing their experiences of transitioning from the UFC to other organizations and echoing similar sentiments about the financial opportunities available outside the UFC.

Rogan's podcast, which he sold to Spotify in 2020 for $200 million, contrasts with Anderson's experience, where he made significantly more money in his first fight with Bellator compared to his final UFC bout.

The debate sparked by Rogan's comments reflects the ongoing discussions within the MMA community about the balance between fame, financial security, and the opportunities available in different MMA organizations.


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