UFC Bantamweight Champion Julianna Peña doesn’t understand all of the heat coming Joe Rogan’s way after recent COVID-19 claims.
Peña is on top of the world after her upset win over Amanda Nunes for the bantamweight title at UFC 269. She has made the rounds in the media since earning the belt and is enjoying the perks of fame and fortune.
But that hasn’t stopped Peña from expressing her opinions openly and in some cases, taking shots at her recently defeated opponent.
During a recent interview with the New York Post, Peña explained her desire to go on Rogan’s podcast and defended him against recent critics.
“I was like, ‘Joe, I wanna come on the podcast.’ He was like, ‘Let’s f–king go. How about January 26?’”
Peña went on to elaborate on why she feels perplexed by the amount of hate and critique heading Rogan’s direction.
“It’s a little crazy to me how mad people get about his opinions,” Peña said. “I have a philosophy where if people aren’t inciting violence, or in positions of government authority where they hold power over others, I don’t get hung up over anybody’s opinions. I get much more mad about actions than people’s opinions. I see him as someone trying to learn in real-time, and just because he says something now that people think is bad, it’s not necessarily a permanent harmful thought. I think he’s valuable for the proverbial conversation.”
“I find him very interesting. I actually find a lot of what he says to be like-minded with the way that I feel. Not all things, obviously. I listen to the podcast, but it’s not like I’m waiting for him to say something people disagree with him.”
Some have wondered why Rogan continues to commentate given the success he’s found in other ventures, including landing a $100 million Spotify deal. Peña thinks Rogan is still in the booth because of his love for the sport.
“It is, and the fact that we even still get him is a blessing,” Peña said. “The fact that he still wants to do it, and that he’s still passionate about it, shows the kind of person he is, where his heart is and how loyal he is. I admire that. There’s not anything bad that I can say about Joe. I think he’s a genuine, what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of person, and that’s a rarity in this day and age – to see people who are “no bulls–t.”
Rogan has been accused of spreading COVID-19 misinformation and some have called for Spotify to part ways with the prominent podcaster. Some have criticized him for promoting the drug Ivermectin, which he used as a treatment for COVID-19 but is not officially recommended as a treatment by the FDA. UFC President Dana White and many others disagree and have shared their own testimonies and viewpoints on the subject in defense of Rogan.
Peña and Rogan have never shied away from expressing their thoughts, and their planned podcast episode will certainly be seen and heard by millions.
What are your thoughts on Julianna Peña and Joe Rogan?