Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting on Friday that Rogan, who was slated to join Jon Anik and Daniel Cormier in the booth for Saturday’s event, is no longer a part of the lineup. In Rogan’s place, former UFC middleweight champion and longtime commentator Michael Bisping will take the second color commentary position.
Rogan did not respond to MMA Fighting on a request for comment on the shift.
On Wednesday afternoon, MMA Fighting confirmed that the usual trio of Anik, Rogan, and Cormier were set to call UFC 271. However, that is no longer the case.
Rogan has been grappling with controversy in recent weeks over his extremely popular podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience. There was widespread public backlash over several guests who appeared on his show and gave what many health experts called “misinformation” about the COVID-19 pandemic. Rogan pledged to diversify his guest list and apologized, but soon found himself in the crosshairs again after a video surfaced showing him repeatedly using a racial slur on the podcast. He subsequently issued another apology.
In a statement issued Friday, the UFC told MMA Fighting that Rogan had a “scheduling conflict” for UFC 271 and is scheduled to work commentary for UFC 272.
UFC 271 features Adesanya defending his title in a rematch against ex-champ Robert Whittaker, and takes place at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.