Joe Rogan loves telling the story of how he almost fought action film star Wesley Snipes.
The Blade and Demolition Man star found himself in some hot water when The IRS tried to collect $23.5 million from Snipes in outstanding taxes for the years between 2001 to 2006 during the late 2000s. Originally the actor attempted to settle for significantly less than the amount owed by only paying $850,000 in cash.
The offer was declined and US Tax Court Judge Kathleen Kerrigan upheld the IRS’ decision for Wesley Snipes to pay $9.5 million, adjusted from the initial demand for $23.5 million. In a desperate attempt to come up with the cash quickly, Snipes planned to call out fellow film star Jean-Claude Van Damme for a fight.
UFC co-creator Campbell McClaren advised against that option and instead suggested that he fight Joe Rogan.
“I was supposed to fight Wesley Snipes,” Rogan said during a recent episode of his popular podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience. “That was real. Lawyers were in negotiation. I was training twice a day for six months. It was f*cking hard. I was so tired all the time and I only got a taste of what it’s like to train like an MMA fighter. I was training knowing that the fight was eventually going to take place so I was building up a base. I was kickboxing every morning and then I was doing jiu-jitsu every night and I was doing it for six months.
Rogan Says Wesley Snipes Bailed once he found out the former Fear Factor host was a trained martial artist
The longtime UFC commentator went on to suggest that Wesley Snipes ultimately bowed out of the bout after realizing that Rogan was an experienced martial artist, training in both taekwondo and jiu-jitsu.
“I think it’s because he knew I was going to kill him,” Rogan continued. “I think in the beginning he thought that he would be able to stuff takedowns and he would kick my ass. Then he found out that I’m a taekwondo champion. I’m a kickboxer. I’m way better at standing up than I am on the ground.
“I don’t know what happened. There’s a bunch of different demands. At first, it was going to be 50/50 and then he wanted it to be 60/40 and I agreed to everything. Then finally, it was like, ‘Just give me this amount of money and give him whatever the f*ck else you want. I’m gonna f*cking strangle that guy’ and it never happened.
“This would be a perfect thing to do; he’s never fought in MMA before. I’ve never done it before. This would be fun and I’ll make a lot of money. Just the idea of this guy who had never had any competitive fights at all, that he thought he could do that.”
In the end, Wesley Snipes was sentenced to three years in prison for misdemeanor charges of willful failure to file federal income tax returns. He served 28 months behind bars and was released in April 2013.
“He was doing a lot of blow if I had to guess,” Rogan said. “He was in a bad situation where he owed a lot of taxes and he had some advisor or one of those dudes that tells you that it’s unconstitutional to pay taxes. There’s a few of those guys out there that will get you convinced that they’re not going to prosecute you because then it’ll have to be revealed that taxes are against the Constitution. There’s a lot of wacky people that people fall under the influence of and unfortunately, he wound up going to jail.”
Who do you think would have won between Joe Rogan and Wesley Snipes inside the Octagon?