UFC 261 provided a night of thrills and spills for the 15,000 fans in Florida and many more watching around the world – and Joe Rogan and his fellow commentary team were definitely along for the ride.
A dramatic night of action in Jacksonville played out in front of the UFC’s first capacity crowd since the pandemic struck last year, and there were some epic moments to savor on a card stacked with three title fights.
It was the second of those contests – the co-main event between defending women’s strawweight champion Zhang Weili and former division queen Rose Namajunas – which will immortalize Rogan in yet another meme for his gob-smacked reaction to what was unfolding.
Namajunas stunned Zhang with a spectacular head-kick KO inside the first round, following up with hammerfists on her grounded opponent as the Florida crowd erupted.
Perhaps no one was more stunned than the UFC cageside commentary trio of Rogan, Daniel Cormier and John Anik.
In a clip taken from a camera focusing on the three men, an open-mouthed Rogan was seen taking a sharp intake of breath as he moved backwards, grabbing at the arms of Cormier and Anik before continuing to stare in amazement at the scenes in front of him.
The clip – as with some of Rogan’s other responses down the years – was an instant hit on social media.
“Joe Rogan’s reactions give me life,” wrote one fan.
“Joe Rogan’s reaction to that Thug Rose head kick KO will be the new meme,” wrote another.
“When did Joe Rogan become so animated,” joked YouTuber-turned-boxer Logan Paul.
Joe Rogan's reactions give me life. pic.twitter.com/JMoNxE9Dx1— JP (@JPKrez) April 25, 2021
Joe Rogan’s reaction to that Thug Rose head kick KO will be the new meme— Jonah Tuls (@JonahTulsNFL) April 25, 2021
when did joe rogan become so animated— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) April 25, 2021
Some wondered whether podcast king Rogan was well aware of his viral potential with his reactions, having blessed the internet with them on various occasions down the years.
You guys think Rogan noticed he goes viral for fight reactions?— feitelberg (@FeitsBarstool) April 25, 2021
Later on in the night there was even more drama as Kamaru Usman defended his welterweight title with a second-round, one-punch KO of Jorge Masvidal in their rematch.
That drew an equally exhilarated response from the cageside threesome as Masvidal lay flat out on the canvas.
Saturday night was not the only time Rogan has gone viral – the 53-year-old veteran UFC caller even has his own YouTube compilation for fans to enjoy…