In a surprising turn of events during UFC 297’s middleweight title main event, Joe Rogan’s ‘fight companion’ transformed into an unforgettable rave experience.
The promotion’s first pay-per-view of 2024 took place in Toronto, Canada. Rogan chose to live-stream the event with a number of regulars from the Joe Rogan Experience, including comedian Joey Diaz, former heavyweight combatant Brendan Schaub, and BJJ legend Eddie Bravo.
After the opening round of the intense 185-pound title bout between Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis, Rogan handed smelling salts to his guests in order to create a lighthearted atmosphere between rounds. The atmosphere escalated further when Rogan decided to infuse some EDM beats, prompting an impromptu dance session among the participants.
The viewers who tuned into the event seemed to have as much enjoyment as Rogan and his crew of JRE regulars did. Social media echoed with enthusiastic responses:
“Was the BEST Fight Companion EVER!!!”
“I thought we might witness Joey have a heart attack live with those smelling salts, you guys made me nervous!”
“Yall trying to kill Uncle Joey!”
“Yall had me turning up too”
“Absolutely 1 of my fav clips I’ve seen on the internet”
“When the vibes are immaculate”
“This was one of the best 4 hours of my life”
After Bruce Buffer announced Du Plessis as the new middleweight world champion, Rogan appeared genuinely surprised by the split decision in favor of the South African.
He said: “Wow. Interesting. Very interesting. I wonder how the people online feel about that. Because, you know, we’re not scoring it while we’re watching it. We’re watching it, we’re just having fun.”
“Were we wrong? It was good. Listen, fourth round he [Du Plessis] did awesome… I definitely think he won the fourth but do you think he won the fifth? I don’t know, man, the fifth seems like Sean was landing more shots… Interesting. Tough fight, though.”
Fans online and even UFC CEO Dana White shared similar sentiments, with White asserting during the press conference that he believed Sean Strickland did enough to retain his title.