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Joe Rogan: “Erick Silva is a very promising fighter and I felt like I had a responsibility to address the issue.”

Whether you love or hate the job he does in the broadcast booth there’s no doubt Joe Rogan is as passionate a fan of Mixed Martial Arts as any person sitting in the crowd or watching on television. As such, the popular comedian occasionally opens himself up to criticism when he is not as objective as some fans might expect when it comes to someone in his role.

The latest example of this came over the weekend at UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes when Rogan interviewed referee Mario Yamasaki after disqualifying Erick Silva for landing an illegal blow to the back of opponent Carlo Prater’s head rendering him unable to continue. However, upon further review it appeared Silva’s strikes were on point for the most part and certainly nothing intentional meriting a DQ.

During Rogan’s discussion with Yamasaki he put the veteran official on the spot, publicly disagreeing with his call rather than asking for an explanation and moving on. Rogan went on MMA forum The Underground earlier today where he offered up his side of things after being called out for his actions by fans/media.

“He’s a great guy, and I’m always happy to see him,” wrote Rogan about Yamasaki. “When I step into the Octagon, however, I represent the people watching at home that might have obvious questions, and when something is controversial I’m forced to confront it honestly because that’s what I would want to hear from a person in my position if I was a fan watching it at home.”

“I think Mario Yamasaki is one of the best in the world at refereeing MMA. No doubt about it. He’s got great insight to the sport, he’s a life long martial artist, and he’s a really smart guy,” Rogan continued. “What I was acting from, is that I saw an incredible young talent get denied a KO victory for a questionable call. When I entered into the Octagon and was told of the official ruling that Silva was going to be disqualified for illegal blows to the back of the head everyone that I was around who heard the news opened their mouths in shock. Everyone said, ‘What?’”

“The people in the truck couldn’t believe it. I had to read it back to them because I thought it was a mistake, and when I leaned over to explain it to (Mike Goldberg) he couldn’t believe it either,” the longtime color-commentator concluded. “I had to ask Mario about it. I didn’t know how he was going to respond, but I had to ask him. Erick Silva is a very promising fighter and I felt like I had a responsibility to address the issue. No disrespect intended.”

As it turns out the result was so controversial UFC President Dana White ultimately awarded Silva a win bonus despite technically losing the bout. Silva also has the ability to protest the result, a move likely working in his favor where a “No Contest” ruling is concerned as UFC V.P. of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner is in charge of making a determination based on the lack of athletic commission in Brazil where the event was held.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

12 COMMENTS
  • Lord Faust says:

    Right or wrong, Joe expressed the frustration going through pretty much everyone’s mind when it happened. I don’t know if it hindered or helped, but it felt cathartic to have Joe ask “do you feel good about that call?”

    If Mario hadn’t be vocal about calling out judges on their errors in a recent article, maybe I would think differently, but in this instance Mario made a mistake and was justifiable called on it. Joe didn’t dwell on it and quickly moved the focus of the conversation to ask Silva his thoughts, and then things wrapped up. I think that was a better outcome than having interpreters handling everything while the ref disappeared — especially since he also handled the main event.

    I’m sure Mario felt like shit, being put on the spot, but I bet that’s nothing compared to being in Silva’s shoes; finding out your awesome KO win is actually a loss, in the middle of an adrenaline dump from the fight.

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  • FightFan313 says:

    there were shots to the back of the head be it 1 or more . .either way the guy could not continue and per the rules = DQ

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  • MCM says:

    I still feel Joe was unprofessional in calling out Mario. He could have easily said that the call was clearly controversial or that if was questionable and it could possibly overturned, but to put the mic in front of Yamasaki’s face and try to get him to contradict what he said literally 10 seconds before, is the definition of amateur.
    It’s also not the first time Joe has pulled this crap. If he feels a fighter got the win when they didn’t deserve it, he’s asked them if they “really felt they deserved the win”. He’ll call the action for one fighter while ignoring the actions of their opponent (Shogun/Machida 1). He also constantly contradicts himself, either Palhares is one of the best leg lock specialists in the world or he doesn’t know what he’s doing and held it too long.
    I think Joe Rogan is incredibly knowledgeable in MMA and Martial Arts in general. I think the UFC owes a significant part of their success to him. And most of the time, I learn something new from his commentary. But just like Dana, the guy needs to learn some professionalism.
    As a fan watching at home, I don’t want you to confront people, especially when emotions are running so high.

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  • hindsightufuk says:

    dont have a problem with a ref being asked why a certain decision was made, to be honest they should be forced to explain themselves after a questionable decision. Bellator did it well, Jimmy Smith asked why the ref why he stopped the fight when Ben Askren had Ryan Thomas in a guillotine, ref thought he was out when he wasnt. Jimmy asked his opinion and thanked him for the explanation. Done job
    However it is not Joe Rogans place to be arguing with the ref live on TV and telling him he thinks the ref is wrong.
    can you imagine that in any other sport?

    Also talking of Joe Rogan, if i hear him and Mike G comparing MMA to soccer again i’m gonna hunt them both down and rape them. Saying the reason Brazillians kicks are so strong is because of the soccer background is fucking ridiculous and makes a mockery of our sport.
    seriously, i used to play football a lot before i came to my senses and realised it was a sport for poofs. kicking a ball of leather did not help the power in my kick boxing one fucking iota.

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  • Kamakosmo says:

    “dont have a problem with a ref being asked why a certain decision was made, to be honest they should be forced to explain themselves after a questionable decision”

    Could not agree more! And this goes for ALL sports. Currently watching the Refs in the NFL trying there hardest to screw up games (especially when it comes to my Giants).
    For some reason, they are given a a cloak of invincibility, and nobody in the public is allowed to question their decisions.
    I applaud Rogan for asking the questions WE ALL were asking each other while watching the fight(s).

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  • Hohlraum says:

    The VERY FIRST HIT was to the back of the head. It’s also the one that made him crumple to the mat. DQ.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    If it was the first hit, why did Mario let Silva keep wailing on him? You’re making Yamasaki look even worse with that explanation.

    If it was a legit DQ’able illegal strike, the action would have been stopped. Instead he let Erick hammerfist the side of his face like a jackhammer.

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  • It sucks that sometimes these things get called and sometimes they dont. Silva’s shots were nowhere near as Blatant as Vitor’s insane clubbing of Rich Franklin and Akiyama’s heads)which were both CLEARLY to the back of the head).
    The First shot that Cain dropped Brock with, or that Serra dropped GSP with were to the back of the head, but those were in motion and not a grounded opponent so I can see how it wasnt deliberate.
    Tough call, but it is what it is.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    Sorry for the external link, it’s a .GIF: http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k142/brr9q/GIF/Silva-Prater-strikes.gif

    Please, argue with that.

    Bad stoppage.

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  • MCM says:

    I’ll be honest with ya Faust, that GIF makes me think Yamasaki might have been justified. He kept saying “watch the back of the head” and then Silva hit him in the back of the head and he stopped the fight.
    Still don’t agree with the call, but the GIF at least allows me to see why he did what he did.

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  • hindsightufuk says:

    mmm to be honest that GIF makes the back of the head shots look more obvious.

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  • RicM says:

    “………no disrespect intended.”……….bullshit,Rogan, you’re a confrontationalist prick……you’re a fight announcer, you’re not Dana White….its not your job to call out the officials (especially on a live PPV) unless you’re the one signing that officials paycheque;that responsibility should fall to whomever is in charge of the event….

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