UFC commentator Joe Rogan feels that the UFC sometimes brings its prospects along too quickly. He worries that by doing so, the promotion sets those prospects up for confidence-shattering losses.
Boxing promoters, meanwhile, have the right idea.
“(In boxing) managers dictate who the fighters fight, and they do build their fighters up correctly,” Rogan told retired boxer Andre Ward on his podcast (via Bloody Elbow). “One of the things that bother me about MMA, is I think there’s some really good young fighters that get ruined. They get thrown to the wolves too quickly, they wind up getting their confidence shattered, they get knocked out when they shouldn’t be, they’re fighting a caliber of fighter they’re not prepared for.
“There’s always the argument for a guy like Jon Jones, youngest ever UFC champion,” Rogan said. “For every Jon Jones, there’s a guy who is coming up that maybe could have been a world champion, but didn’t get managed correctly. The UFC doesn’t give you options. They say ‘hey, you want to fight Kamaru Usman? Okay, here’s your fight. This is it.'”
Rogan continued, explaining how prospects can benefit from being brought along slowly:
“The fans get the big fights, but I don’t think we necessarily see the highest caliber of fighter fight the highest caliber of fighter, with the best case scenario at all times,” he said. “Do you know what I’m saying? I don’t think we get to see the most out of some of these guys.
“If there was a ton of different promoters around, and you weren’t locked into any specific organization like the UFC has, I think you can see more managers saying ‘Hey man you’re not ready for Robbie Lawler, you’re not ready for this guy. We’re going to take this fight on a regional level. We’re going to build you up and get you to 15, 16-0, then we’re going to start to challenge some top 10 contenders.’
“This way, you will have seen all the looks. You’ll have seen a great wrestler, a great striker. You’ve fought a Muay Thai champion, you’ve fought a jiujitsu guy, you know how to handle all these different scenarios.”
Do you agree with Joe Rogan on this one?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/6/2019.