Terrance McKinney stands by UFC color commentator and popular podcaster Joe Rogan.
“It’s because I know what it’s like to make mistakes, and I don’t think we should define people off of their mistakes, but how they come back from them,” McKinney told MMA Fighting on Thursday’s episode of We Got Next. “It takes a real man to apologize publicly. He could’ve just hid out, said nothing, but he knew what he did wrong. He accepted it, he apologized.
“He’s out there looking out for us. This guy came out for my fight [and interviewed me after I won], which helped me blow up. He’s always looking out for us, and I think we should give him that respect.”
Rogan recently ignited a national conversation regarding his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, which many experts in the health care industry said contained “misinformation” about the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, video surfaced showing Rogan repeatedly using a racial slur on the podcast. Rogan subsequently issued multiple apologies.
McKinney, who returns to the octagon on Saturday at UFC Vegas 49 to face Fares Ziam in a lightweight bout, showed his support for Rogan by penning an op-ed piece for Newsweek entitled, “I Don’t Need White People Telling Me What’s Supposed to Offend Me.”
“He feels bad about what he did, and that’s what I’m trying to tell people,” McKinney said. “Joe Rogan is a good guy. If he didn’t feel bad, he would’ve been showing his face [at UFC 271], smiling like he didn’t care. But he’s a respectable dude.”
At 27 years old, McKinney has emerged as one of the most promising prospects in the 155-pound division since his seven-second KO of Matt Frevola in his short-notice debut at UFC 263, which marked his fourth straight first-round finish.
The Dana White’s Contender Series veteran, who turned his life around after a suffering a near-death experience in 2015 due to drug and alcohol abuse, hopes to use his new platform to inspire others.
“Dude, that’s why I tell people, don’t set your dreams to one thing,” McKinney explained. “The opportunities are endless. I always thought I was just gonna be a fighter, but look, I’m writing an article for [Newsweek], I’ve done some music videos lately. Just don’t limit yourself to a fishbowl in your dream. Get in that ocean, go as far as you can, and don’t just limit your dreams, man. Go out there and just take it all.”