UFC color commentator Joe Rogan has been involved with MMA for over 20 years now. In fact, Rogan, a black belt in taekwondo and BJJ, made his debut as a UFC on-air personality way back in 1997 at UFC 12. One of the men Rogan interviewed at UFC 12 was Mark Coleman. At UFC 12, the hulking Coleman defeated Dan Severn via a scarf-hold headlock to win the inaugural UFC Heavyweight Championship.
The Rogan and Coleman Incident
Nearly 20 years after Rogan interviewed Mark Coleman at UFC 12, the two men had an infamous encounter backstage at UFC 203. Their reunion started out friendly, with Rogan and Coleman engaging in a playful wrestling exchange. However, things quickly escalated beyond mere roughhousing. After Coleman reached out to grab the UFC commentator, Rogan performed an arm drag on the much larger man, moving behind Coleman and securing a grip around his waist.
Coleman took exception to this, and he responded by grabbing Rogan by the neck and violently throwing him into a wall. Feeling Coleman’s power, Rogan quickly de-escalated the situation by hugging Coleman and laughing off the incident.
Here’s the video of the wrestling exchange between Joe Rogan and Mark Coleman.
Mark Coleman on the Joe Rogan Incident
Coleman later appeared on an episode of the Hannibal TV, where he discussed the incident with Rogan. Here’s what Mark had to say about their encounter:
“Honestly, people say I was drinking. I was not drinking. I just gave him a hug. And lots of times when wrestlers give each other hugs, it turns into something more than that. And Joe Rogan hit me with a nice, slick armdrag, and he took my back. I [had] hip issues at the time, and all of the sudden out of instinct, I had no choice but to turn around and face him. And I would say I gave him a gentle push, because I could have gave him a hundred times more.”
Coleman then made clear that he considers Rogan a friend, saying:
“I like having Joe Rogan as a friend. I think he’s cool as Hell. I think he’s funny as sh*t. I think he’s awesome.”
Mark Coleman on His First Meeting With Rogan
In addition to discussing their backstage grappling match, Coleman shared a funny anecdote about their first meeting at UFC 12:
“[The first time I met Joe Rogan], Joe looked at me in the eyes and said, ‘Damn, you look like you could use a fight tonight.’ I go, ‘I could.’ And I scooped him up, and I started spinning him around in a helicopter.”
Here’s a clip of Mark Coleman on the Hannibal TV discussing his first meeting with Joe Rogan and their infamous backstage wrestling match:
Who is Mark Coleman?
Mark Coleman is a former heavyweight MMA fighter. Coleman was the UFC 10 and UFC 11 tournament champion, the inaugural UFC Heavyweight Champion, and the Pride Fighting Championships 2000 Open Weight Grand Prix champion. Coleman is a member of the UFC Hall of Fame.