Renowned comedian, Joe Rogan, has displayed his talents in many forms, from television host to martial artist.
As one of the most recognizable faces of the UFC, his appearance has startlingly resembled the president of the UFC, Dana White. Fans of the sport have begun to wonder: are the two actually related?
Rogan & White’s Connections
Although these Ultimate Fighting Championship celebrities are not truly related, they have no shortage of similarities.
Joe Rogan was held in the spotlight even at an early age, receiving a black belt in Taekwondo and becoming a US Youth Champion. Today, Rogan’s career has expanded well beyond his initial success in the UFC. His podcast has gained popularity over the years as he provides insight on various current events.
White also began his fighting career at a young age, starting boxing at the age of 17. He worked as a boxing coach in Southern Boston before moving to Las Vegas. He became manager of multiple MMA fighters, who would later compete in one of the first major MMA promotions in 2000: the UFC. His career and popularity kickstarted from there.
Coincidentally, these businessmen also both grew up in New England. Rogan grew up in Boston, while White grew up in nearby Maine and later moved to Boston after high school. No wonder they bonded so quickly; growing up surrounded by the same culture certainly gives them a lot in common.
A Developing Friendship
Joe Rogan began his journey with the UFC in 1997 as a backstage interviewer, eventually joining the commentating booth in 2002. Rogan earned the respect of White early on in his career when he first joined the company, impressing him with his vast knowledge, training, and love for the sport.
Rogan understood that the fledgling company did not have a ton of popularity yet, generously offering to work for free for 15 straight shows. White has seemingly always sincerely believed in Rogan’s passion regarding the sport, and even stated,
Rogan gets paid now. But you wouldn’t tell the difference from when Rogan was doing it for free from when Rogan is being paid [tons] of money to do it. Because Rogan doesn’t do it for the money. Rogan does it because it’s his passion. That’s what he loves to do.
Rogan has also continuously demonstrated genuine compassion and respect for his colleague and friend. In a recent Instagram post, Rogan expresses his appreciation of White’s friendship, saying,
Thank you to @danawhite for talking me into doing it.
Additionally, White once defended Rogan in an interview regarding his dispute with ESPN analyst, Stephen A. Smith. When Smith slammed one of the losing competitors, Rogan found that Smith was taking his comments too far by being so harsh. White wasn’t required to get involved in the situation, but he made a conscious effort to stand up for his own morals, as well as his friend.
Ultimately, the two martial arts enthusiasts are in fact not related, though they do share many similarities. Both renowned for their passion for martial arts, the pair will expectedly – and hopefully – remain close friends in the ring.