Adam Hunter is one of the more popular comedians in the world today. He is constantly headlining shows all over America, even overseas on occasion. While doing this, he manages to produce two podcasts on a weekly basis. His MMA Roasted podcast has become one of the most popular MMA podcasts with Jake Ellenberger being the co-host. He also has a life podcast called Hunter’s World.
Adam Hunter: How MMA Roasted was created, his podcast, & how he continues to grow as a comedian.
What made me want to interview Adam is mainly because of his love for MMA. Of course, the MMA Roasted twitter account is what attracted a lot of interest over the past few years. That’s how I found out about him a few years ago. He’s been the head writer for the MMA awards for about four years now. His “Texts from Last Fight” articles are absolutely hysterical, where he pretends to be someone in a text during the event.
He’s been doing so much great work for the MMA community over the past few years. I’ve been meaning to talk to him, just to hear more about his career and what his plans are for the future. I talked to him on Friday afternoon about how he came up with MMA Roasted and his podcast. Then we got more into the podcast specifically being that it’s so popular sponsored by Fox Sports 1. Here is the transcript of our interview.
Strk: You are definitely a veteran in the comedy world. Can you take me back to your first gig as a comedian to some of the biggest accomplishments you’ve earned over the years?
Hunter: My first gig ever was at the New York comedy club. I was only 20 years old, so there was obviously some pressure. In college, I was trying to take some acting classes to see what could come out of it, but that never panned out. Stand up comedy seemed to be something that I could specialize in. It would be something, where I can write my own material and still entertain people. That has now led me to being on Jay Leno’s show twice, Chelsea Lately, and a finalist on season six of the Last Comic Standing. I’ve been able to write so many cool projects for other shows as well. All of it has been a blast.
Strk: What made you want to create MMA Roasted? At the time, Joey Diaz was the only person mixing comedy into MMA with his “Joey Karate” videos breaking down UFC events.
Hunter: At the time, I was doing shows with John Heffron. He was a huge MMA fan, such as myself. We would talk about fights on a weekly basis and it made me want to talk about MMA more on a public level. Even though writing for the MMA awards has been great with guys like Joey Varner, it was frustrating not being able to tell more jokes. Some jokes were too over the top that they wouldn’t allow it. After seeing how popular Twitter had become, I decided to create the MMA Roasted account and that would be the place that I’d write my jokes on related to MMA.
Strk: Who were the first few fighters that you encountered on twitter?
Hunter: Patrick Cote was the first fighter from the top of my head. He loved my jokes and kept on emphasizing me to do them. Believe it or not, Chris Weidman was actually one of the first big supporters as well. Conor Heun and Mayhem Miller have become good friends of mine, who were also the first big supporters of the account. Ironically, Nick Diaz actually responded to one of my jokes once. He said “I never said s****”, after making a joke about him. The crazy thing is I never tag any fighter in these jokes. How he found out is pretty bizarre. Eventually he understood what I was doing and that it wasn’t serious.
Strk: Was there ever a moment you realized that you were becoming a big deal or has it just been a steady grind?
Hunter: There was definitely no certain moment. I’m always trying to do what I can for the MMA community. I love the sport so much and almost all of the fighters couldn’t have been nicer to me. I’ll never claim to be a journalist or reporter just because I interview fighters on a podcast. There are great journalists like Ben Fowlkes, John Morgan, Damon Martin, Ariel Helwani, and many others who deserve to call themselves that. I’m just a fan at heart trying to entertain people. I’ve done several tours for our troops in the Middle East. Their had been donations given out to them, while I’ve set up fighters to come over for them to meet. On the last tour, we had James Krause, Sean McCorkle, Shayna Baszler, and other fighters come for autograph signings. Then they would hang out with the troops afterwards. It’s those moments that make I’ll always remember.
Strk: Now getting back to the MMA awards, you’ve been the head writer for many years minus 2013. How has the MMA awards evolved from when you first started till now?
Hunter: The fighters are getting their night, which is what they deserve. How it has evolved is now I’m having the opportunity to make more creative sketches for the show. The most infamous sketch this year was the Mark Munoz wrecking ball video (click here to view). He’s a great guy and his nickname is “The Filipino Wrecking Machine”. The correlation couldn’t have been better. I knew that it was going to be a huge hit. The opportunity to hang out with more fighters and work on certain sketches with them is probably the biggest way it has evolved for me. It went from fighters just accepting the awards like a regular awards show to now we can make it more entertaining and let the fighters enjoy their moment even more. Phil Davis and Dominick Cruz were also great to work with.
Strk: Were you inspired to do a podcast or was it something you always planned on doing?
Hunter: Well originally I had my life podcast known as Hunter’s World. The issue was that my love for MMA would sometime overtake the show. I’d be talking about the fights from last weekend one minute, then a story about an annoying girl the next minute. I was turning off some of the fans that only wanted to hear about funny stories or pop culture. Eventually that’s what made me decide to do two separate podcasts. That would allow me the opportunity to talk about MMA for as long as I wanted. Then I’d have the opportunity to have fighters on to make the show even better. It turned out to be a great move, where now I’m not stressing as much over how much time I can spend on a particular story or fight.
Strk: How did you become such good friends with Jake Ellenberger? He’s been a great addition to your podcast.
Hunter: Jake has been a fan of my standup for a few years now. He would come to my shows and it would be cool to hang out with him afterwards. It wasn’t until I heard from Mayhem Miller about how funny he was. They trained together at the Reign Training Center, which is how the connection came about. I heard he was posting articles every now and then, so I decided to check them out. Every one of his articles made me laugh. He had such a dry sense of humor that it made me like him even more. Eventually we talked one night after a show, that’s when we decided that he should become the co-host with T-Rexx and I. Jake is the man, super intelligent guy and knows how to break down fights. It’s been a blast having him with us on a weekly basis.
Strk: Who are some of your favorite fighters to have on?
Hunter: I have to mention Phil Baroni right away. He’s one of the coolest human beings I’ve ever talked to. There is no filter with him and he’s given me so many entertaining interviews. Hector Lombard is a combination of hilarious and intimidating. When you hear him talk, you can hear how passionate he is. Hector has such a great heart. Michael Chiesa and Gray Maynard were really cool. Sara McMann, Cub Swanson, and Carla Esparza were awesome to talk with. I can’t forget about Tim Kennedy, he’s been one of the most supportive fighters of my work over the past year.
Strk: I listen to your podcast on a weekly basis, so I’m aware of all the memorable interviews with Baroni and Lombard. What movie would be more ridiculous? Would it be Lombard in a lead role of a crime drama movie or Baroni in a comedy adventure movie?
Hunter: (laughs) Genius ideas. Man, I would put both of them in any sort of movie. Baroni in a Magic Mike like movie would be perfect, since he used to be a male stripper. Lombard has that unique Cuban/Australian accent. You can put him in whatever role and he would be gold.
Strk: You’ve mentioned Nick Diaz several times in the past, as a dream guest for your podcast. Is there anyone else you would really like to get on?
Hunter: I’m really hoping to get Michael Bisping on. I know he’s one of the most hated fighters in MMA, but he’s so quick witted. People forget how great of a talker he is. Eventually, I’m sure I could get him on. Ronda Rousey would be incredible. We met once and talked for like ten minutes. She couldn’t have been sweeter. The issue with her is that she’s so busy with fighting and movies. You rarely see her do interviews these days.
Strk: Some people don’t know about you’re wrestling background. You were a four-time New England prep school champion. Now you are coaching younger kids in California. Obviously there are elite wrestlers like Ben Askren, Daniel Cormier, Chael Sonnen amongst other fighters. Who are some fighters that you believe don’t get enough appreciation, when the discussion comes up about the top wrestlers in MMA?
Hunter: Jake Rosholt is someone I’ve always respected. He is a four time All-American and three time national champion. I’m still wondering why he was never really successful in MMA. His wrestling accomplishments are insane. One fighter in the UFC that tends to be forgotten about is Rashad Evans. He was just an amateur wrestler in high school and college, yet he outwrestled Phil Davis when they fought. Davis is a four time All-American and when you watch him fight, it’s clear that wrestling is his pedigree. How Evans has transformed into such a great wrestler is incredible. Steve Mocco is someone to keep an eye out for. He was one of the most controversial figures in wrestling, but was a two time national champion at Oklahoma State. He just signed with WSOF, so be on the look out for him.
Strk: Is there anything that you believe you need to improve on with MMA Roasted, whether it’s from the podcast or twitter account? Are there any particular goals that you still want to reach from a career perspective?
Hunter: Absolutely there is always something to improve on. I’m starting to tone down the female fighter jokes. I’ve gotten some heat from a few jokes, specifically the Fallon Fox jokes. It’s one thing to make fun of dumb celebrities. It’s another thing to make fun of someone, who is a fighter and works extremely hard at what they do. I never intended to hurt Fox or anyone with these jokes. They are all in good spirit, that’s why I get along with so many fighters. I just believe she shouldn’t be fighting against female fighters. I’m definitely not going to make anymore transgender jokes. Sometimes I believe people are too sensitive, other times I do cross the line. At the end of the day, I have nothing but respect for anyone who fights for a living.
Of course I still have goals. I’d like to have my own talk show, whether it’s about pop culture and/or MMA. The podcasts are great, but it would be even better to have my own show on a network. I’m always staying motivated in trying to create new projects. I’ve been doing some auditions with CBS recently pitching a few things. Eventually I’ll get into more specifics when the time is right. Right now I’m taking it one step at a time, just like I always have.
That concludes my interview with Adam. Be sure to follow him at @MMARoasted & @AdamComedian if you haven’t already. His MMA Roasted podcast is one of the best podcasts around today. It’s a must listen for all fight fans with different fighters coming on every week. If you want to find out more information, his website is here as well. You can follow me on twitter at @Allen_Strk