Joe Rogan has leapt to defend himself from critics who have been 'misquoting' the UFC commentator over his comments about Jon Jones.
"I've been misquoted left & right about Jon Jones lack of popularity. I said "I wonder how much of it is racism" key words: WONDER & HOW MUCH", tweeted Rogan.
He followed that up shortly after with: "I didn't say Jon Jones isn't more popular because everyone that dislikes him is racist. It's a subject for debate and discussion, that's it."
Rogan sparked huge debate at the start of the week, with comments about how racism could be involved in fans hating UFC Light Heavyweight champ, Jones.
See Also - Jon Jones unpopular because of racist fans?
Speaking on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan said: "Don't know why Jon is not more loved or popular than he is," Rogan said on his podcast. "I don't understand it. In my opinion, I will never miss a Jon Jones f***ing pay-per-view. I've heard people say, 'Oh, he's cocky. He's this and [that].'
"I wonder what the f**k is going on with that and I'm going to throw this out there, I'm just going to say it: I wonder how much of it is racism. I really do."
"You know why? Because I think they look at him as this cocky black guy and I think a lot of people have an issue with that. I think that if he was a white guy and he was doing the same thing, a la a Chael Sonnen, I think he would be way more popular."
"I just always found it odd when everybody would get upset at him and say that they didn't like that 'he's cocky.' He's 25 and he's the UFC's light heavyweight champion. He's the youngest ever UFC champion. He destroyed Shogun [Rua] to win the title and I mean destroyed...I know I'm going to get a bunch of hate tweets. 'F**k you and your f***ing bulls**t. What do you got? White guilt? Calling out racism?'"
Too late to stop the hate train
Rogan's defence is unlikely to stop people from still reporting that he's branded UFC fans as racist - despite it being clear in the quotes of what he said that it could be reason for the hate.
Jones is very much a polarising figure in the UFC, and has often been accused of being 'fake', most notably by Daniel Cormier during their foul mouthed, off air, back-and-forth on ESPN, which was leaked online.
It usually comes down to his attitude or his fight style, for which he become infamous amongst the MMA community for a string of 'accidental' eye pokes that leave his opponent struggling to keep up.
It is highly unlikely that someone who isn't just trolling will come forth and say that Jones' race is the issue but to dismiss Rogan's concern on that basis would be absurd.
Rogan's attempt at starting the debate have seemingly backfired massively and while he's no stranger to controversy, it's still a blow for the conversation topic.
We're never likely to have a clear answer but with three of the four top fighters in the light heavyweight division being black, if there are fans that have an issue with black fighters - then they're just going to have like it or lump it.
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