Joe Rogan Denounces Bisping vs. GSP
When it was announced that former welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre would be returning to face Michael Bisping for the middleweight title, many fans were displeased, saying the fight being made is the case of the UFC valuing entertainment and financial gain over sporting merit. UFC commentator Joe Rogan agrees with them.
Appearing on ESPN’s Five Rounds podcast, Rogan said that he would have preferred to see Bisping defend his title against the clear top contender in the 185 lb. division.
“I really want to see Yoel Romero get a shot at the title," Rogan said. "I know he’s waiting, he’s waiting right now for what I think is an interesting fight between Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre. I think that’s an interesting fight. I don’t like it in terms of the hierarchy of the division. I think that, as far as the division goes, it’s not good at all. It sort of hijacks the whole situation.”
In addition to being the UFC’s most tenured commentator, Rogan considers himself a hardcore fan of the sport. For that reason, he believes that giving a title shot to St. Pierre — who has been gone for three years and has never fought at middleweight — hurts the image of a champion defending his title against rightful challengers.
“I don’t like it. I’m not concerned because there’s great fighters and you get them together and you make great fights. I’m not concerned at that. But from a purist point of view, and someone who feels like – look, if you’re going to have a champion and you’re gonna have these divisions where one man rules over the division, there should be a very clear hierarchy… If you have a champion and you have all these people waiting in line to get a shot at that champion, the person who is perceived to be the best in that division is the one who should be fighting the champion next. The champion should always be fighting the number one available challenger. Right now, that is Yoel Romero.”
The UFC making Bisping vs. GSP is the latest fight in a trend of controversial title fights. Most recently, interim titles have been made more common, usually for promotional reasons rather than because the divisional situation calls for it. According to Rogan, if the UFC continues with this trend then there is no need to have champions at all.
“As a person who deeply respects the position of champion – if you’re gonna do this whole interim title thing and you’re gonna have guys come back after being out of the sport for three years and get a shot right at the title, why have f**king championships at all?
“Why have a champion at all? Just set up great fights. And if you’re just setting up great fights, well that’s a great fight. Bisping versus GSP is a great fight. If you’re going to have a title, this is the champion of the world, then the champion should be defending his title against the number one challenger and that right now is Yoel Romero.”