TJ Dillashaw took to social media yesterday and outlined his thoughts on his split decision loss to Dominick Cruz. The Elevation Fight Team proponent explained that while he believed he won the fight, he did not think that Cruz having his hand raised was "a robbery".
However, it wasn't the former champion's breakdown of the championship showdown that grabbed the most attention, it was his criticism of Joe Rogan's commentary that really tweaked the intrigue of the MMA community.
"(Joe Rogan) might need to go back and watch it again to hear how biased he was commentating," wrote Dillashaw. "I agree with you it was a good close fight, but think you picked Cruz before the fight started."
By chance, Cruz happened to be making an appearance on The MMA Hour shortly after Dillashaw had published the post. Ariel Helwani asked the newly crowned champion to react to Dillashaw's thoughts.
"It's funny that he of all people said that," Cruz told Helwani. "Joe just says what he's going to say, but there was no bias whatsoever. There were times where he took TJ's side a lot, and besides that, judges don't hear Joe Rogan. Fans do at home.
"You can't worry about what Joe is saying, you just got to go out there and do what you do. I've had fights where I haven't had the better end of the commentary definitely, but you've got to understand to that Joe doesn't necessarily have the most understanding of the striking realm, and that fight was a very high-level striking match.
"I guarantee you Joe didn't see everything that TJ was reading and Joe didn't see everything I was reading. You've got to think that both me and TJ are working off our instincts in there a lot because we're moving so quickly, switching so many stances–it's hard to make a lot of reads.
He continued: "I don't think Joe took a side at all. I've been out with Joe a couple of times. I've never been on his podcast, those guys have been on his podcast millions of times. So I know Joe has no problem with TJ, he respects TJ and he likes his style, so I think Joe was just doing his job."
It isn't the first time that the beloved commentator has been called into question by a professional fighter.
After Cathal Pendred won a close split decision over Sean Spencer last January in Boston, the Irishman told MMAJunkie.com how he believed Rogan's commentary "changed peoples' perception" of how the fight went.
"I stayed on in America for a further 10 days after the fight, and it wasn't until I went home that I actually got to watch the fight and the commentary," said Pendred. "I felt hard done by because for the 15 minutes of the fight, my technique and style were critiqued while my opponent was spoken highly of."
"The thing that was most insulting was by the last minute of the last round, Joe Rogan was talking about how bad my cardio was and how exhausted I was, as I was taking down my opponent. I was taking down my opponent who was doing nothing, and (Rogan) was talking about how tired I was.
"Particularly when there's someone talking about every bad thing I do and every good thing my opponent does, it's going to change peoples' perception. To make it even worse, Rogan came on and said (the decision) was a complete robbery."
Back in January 2010, Nate Diaz posted a video to voice his concern about how he felt Rogan "must've been judging it on the person who he liked better" after the Stockton native lost a close split decision to Gray Maynard.
"If anybody sees Gray Maynard, tell him to show his face today and see how it looks," Diaz said. "I got more landed strikes in that fight, and I threw more.
"He (Rogan) must've been judging it on the person who he liked better because obviously, as far as the commentary was concerned, everybody liked Gray. If the fans want to go back and judge the fight for themselves, put the TV on mute, if you can."
Rogan is one of the most popular figures involved with the UFC and he revealed in December that his contract with the promotion is coming to an end. As transcribed by Fight State from an episode of his world-renowned podcast, Rogan is still in two minds as to whether he will sign on the dotted line for another stint with UFC.
"My contract's up in August. I might leave in August. It's possible. I like doing shit that scares me. I like taking chances and I like walking away from things. I'm not a big fan of doing the same shit over and over again. I love it, it's not that I don't love it. I just like doing a lot of other shit, too."