Watch A Fresh-Faced Joe Rogan Make His UFC Commentary Debut Way Back In 1997

Joe Rogan UFC

Before the Joe Rogan podcast empire was built, the commentator got a humble start as a reporter for the UFC.

The martial artist, podcaster, comedian, and long-time UFC employee climbed up the corporate ladder the old fashioned way. He got his foot in the door as a “ring-side reporter,” and his expertise and talent slowly but surely allowed for him to rise up the ranks.

I wonder if anyone first watched him on this UFC broadcast in 1997, pointed at the television like the Leonardo DiCaprio meme, and said:

“That man will one day be the largest podcaster in the world.”

If someone did, or took a “futures bet” on Rogan, that would have been legendary, considering that Rogan was just getting started, and the more important fact that the first “podcast” was released in 2004. So now that I think about it, someone calling him a “future podcaster” in 1997 would have been some real Back To The Future level stuff…

But we do sort of get to go “back to the future” with this clip, reminiscing and revisiting all the way back before the turn of the century and seeing a video of the future of UFC commentating and podcasting as we know it (see what I did there? pretty impressive right?).

It’s always cool to see celebrities or well-known public figures in their younger days, and how they got started. I’m sure Joe Rogan was excited to get started with the UFC, and he most definitely had no idea that his hard work and success would one day lead to The Joe Rogan Experience debuting in 12 years later in 2009.

The video’s caption states:

“UFC commentator Joe Rogan’s first appearance on the broadcast at UFC 12: Judgement Day took place on February 7, 1997 at the Dothan Civic Center in Dothan, Alabama.”

Joe Rogan fanatics flooded the the comments below the video, leaving nice (?) compliments, noticing his Boston accent, and being mesmerized by how long Rogan has been going at it in the media world:

“Oh my goodness, he’s adorable.”

“Pretty cool stuff. Rogan and UFC stuck by each other and they both came out top of their class.”

“Holy barnacles, Joe was one handsome fella back in his day.”

“That Boston accent popping through.”

“Oh my goodness, he’s adorable. Baby Joe!”

I’m not sure how Rogan would feel about those comments if he were to read through them. It’s kind of like when you show a friend or family member pictures of you as a kid, or a younger adult, and they say “wow, look at you, you were so cute.”

Were? As in past-tense?

Thanks for the compliment Great Aunt Nancy….

Of course, Joe was back ringside once again for UFC 291 last night, and as always, was right there to capture more post-fight magic from the hilarious heavyweight Derrick Lewis:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock