Rugby UFC, MMA & Boxing

The Best Sports Podcasts, Part 2: MMA and Rugby

The best football podcasts out thereIt’s fair to say that podcasting in general would not be the worldwide phenomenon it is now without the influence of one Joe Rogan. Rogan, a stand-up comedian by trade, started out in a sitcom called News Radio, playing a wise-ass radio tech with a full head of hair. A keen martial artist himself, he began to provide colour commentary for the UFC in 1997 for UFC 12, as well as hosting a long-running reality TV show, Fear Factor. But things really got going for Rogan in December 2009 when he and his friend Brian Redban launched a podcast. By August of 2010, it had been rebranded as The Joe Rogan Experience, and by October the following year, his show was being downloaded 16 million times per month.

It was branded as ‘two guys sitting in front of laptops, talking’ (all right, so they didn’t say ‘talking’, they said something else involving bovine bowel movements). Pretty soon, guests started appearing, from all walks of life, depending on who was in town that week or what Rogan was interested in. Comedians, scientists, broadcasters, former fighters and nutjobs: Rogan has landed some huge guests, from Russel Brand to Louis Theroux and just about everyone in between. It could easily have been a radio show; for 95% of the content that Rogan produces, there’s really no need for any cameras. But the cameras occasionally capture something extraordinary. Like the time Rogan convinced Brendan Schaub (at the time, a UFC heavyweight) that he probably shouldn’t be fighting at that level. Or that time Elon Musk tried to look cool and lost 9% of his stock.

Joe Rogan talking about Elon Musk smoking weed on his podcast

Taken from Joe Rogan Experience #1230

Among both the stand-up comedy and former MMA fighting fraternities, Rogan led the way to a hugely lucrative yet relatively simple career move for dozens of people. Brendan Schaub, having reappraised his fighting career after Rogan’s comments, has been given a new lease of life, who has now moved into stand-up and podcasting himself. He has a Showtime UFC recap show, a comedy chat podcast with Bryan Callen entitled The Fighter and the Kid and his own show where he goes to a food truck with former or current fighters to talk about their eating habits.

Francis Ngannou | Food Truck Diaries | BELOW THE BELT with Brendan Schaub

Brendan Schaub chows down on some pasta with Francis Ngannou. #BelowTheBelt Subscribe to the BELOW THE BELT with Brendan Schaub channel: Get More BELOW THE BELT with Brendan Schaub: Follow: Like: Instagram: Get more SHOWTIME: Website: Follow: Like: Instagram: BELOW THE BELT explores the intersection of combat sports and pop culture through the eyes of former fighter, comedian and red carpet host Brendan Schaub.

It’s been a lucrative move for British MMA fighters as well. Michael Bisping’s Believe You Me podcast has been running for the last two years. It follows the traditional sport podcast format – a former sportsperson for the anecdotes, and a comedian to help the show flow. Bisping’s show differs from the regular format, in that the two are not in the same room. Bisping is either at home in LA or Clithero, while Louis J Gomez and team run the show from New York.

Michael Bisping Officially Retires – Believe You me #65 Highlight

Like and Subscribe for more content from the best MMA Podcast on the planet! Michael Bisping promised Luis J Gomez that he would break the news on Believe You Me and he kept to his word. After 14 years in MMA, the last 12 in the UFC Michael Bisping has officially hung up his gloves.

There are a couple of great new British podcasts that have just started. The first is called Listen! and is hosted by Dan Hardy and Marc Goddard. For insight into the world of MMA, surely this podcast cannot be surpassed. Dan Hardy is a former UFC fighter and current commentator, whereas Marc Goddard is one of the most well-respected referees in MMA. Together, they provide a unique and complete view of things from the inside that real fans cannot afford to miss.

The second recently (re)launched podcast belongs to Brad Pickett. If you’ve been following our blog recently, you’ll already know that Brad knows a thing or two about MMA. We recently asked him to pick his choices for UFC London, and he got them all right. Every. Single. One. Now hosted by BT Sport, the One Punch Podcast is back and better than ever, having been relaunched just this month. Keep an ear open, if only to see if he drops any more excellent tips.

While there are podcasts out there for just about every sport under the sun (and several on the dark side of the moon), only a relatively few sports really provide enough material for a couple of former professionals to gab on about for one to two hours at a time. There’s an F1 podcast, for example, but while many will find it interesting and informative, few could honestly describe it as fun. If we’re going with the ‘two guys sitting in front of laptops, talking’ format, then we want the guys to be entertaining and to have great stories. Fortunately, there’s a sport that has more than its fair share of loquacious and erudite former professionals: rugby.

Haskell & Tindall: Wales Grand Slam, Calcutta Cup madness, plus Richard Madeley | House of Rugby #23

There’s a surprise visitor on Episode 23 of House of Rugby. James’ father-in-law Richard Madeley, tells us what it’s like to have a Haskell in the family. Hask and Mike also talk rugby, as they discuss the Six Nations and the brilliance of Alun Wyn-Jones.

The first of these is House Of Rugby, probably the most royal podcast out there due to the involvement of Mike Tindall. Married to the Queen’s granddaughter, Zara Phillips, Tindall is joined by James Haskell and Alex Payne, Sky Sports’ rugby presenter. As you might imagine for two former professional players and a broadcaster that has been around them for years, the sledging is immediate and constant. Comments about the state of each other’s hairline, nose, hairline, activities and any other target that presents itself during the course of the hour-long podcast.

What went wrong for England against Scotland?

The Rugby Pod discuss what went wrong for England during the Six Nations finale in Twickenham. Watch the full podcast on RugbyPass TV #RugbyPod

For a slightly less polished but certainly no less entertaining or informative podcast, the Rugby Pod brings two old rivals together. Former England international Andy Goode and former Scotland international “Big” Jim Hamilton run their show in much the same way – taking the mickey out of each other, telling some amazing stories and very occasionally, a live skull-off. You’ll even occasionally hear a post-fight breakdown worthy of any MMA podcast. And to bring things full circle, here’s Joe Rogan discussing how rugby is inherently more badass than American football. If someone as influential as Rogan says so, it must be true.