The odds were certainly stacked against Max Rohskopf last night (Sat., June 20, 2020) at UFC on ESPN 11 as he made his Octagon debut on just 10 days notice, but it was the way the 25-year-old prospect suffered his first professional loss that leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
Rohskopf, who only had five pro fights under his belt entering his UFC debut, fell behind fairly early against lightweight counterpart Austin Hubbard, who was making his fourth Octagon appearance. After absorbing a slew of punches on the feet over the course of the first two rounds Rohskopf wasn’t ready to come out in the third. He was physically exhausted, having failed multiple attempts to bring the fight to the ground.
Despite his call to stop the fight, Rohskopf’s head coach, Robert Drysdale, tried to persuade his fighter to continue. Drysdale was heard telling Rohskopf, “You’re a champion, stop it,” as the young fighter told him he was done. Eventually, after telling Drysdale nine times to stop the fight, Rohskopf had to do it himself.
The exchange between fighter and coach can be seen above courtesy of UFC/ESPN.
The outcome has sparked much criticism for Rohskopf’s corner as most believe they should have listened to their fighter. Even UFC president Dana White offered a reaction supportive of Rohskopf during UFC on ESPN 11’s post-fight press conference (full replay HERE).
“In this sport, if you’re done, you’re done, you should absolutely be able to quit,” said White. “I know that its frowned upon, but guess what? Anyone who would talk shit about you quitting isn’t in there fighting. It’s real easy to be a critic. What these kids do is a whole other level man.”
“If that kid felt like he needed to quit tonight who the f—k is anybody to judge him on that,” White later added. “He had the balls to come here and fight and take a short notice fight in the UFC. Period.”
According to a report by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) will be looking into Rohskopf’s corner and their refusal to stop the fight.
“That’s something we will take a look at,” NSAC executive director Bob Bennett told ESPN. “We might want to take disciplinary action on them. That doesn’t sound like they are looking out for a fighter. Obviously, he didn’t want to come out [and fight)].”
Drysdale, a former pro fighter who has been coaching in MMA since 2008, offered his own reaction to the incident, explaining that he believed Rohskopf was physically able to come out in the third round.
“I stand by what I did,” Drysdale told ESPN. “I expect excellence from the people I train because I love them. He wasn’t seriously hurt, and I felt he needed a mental push. I would expect the same from my coach.
“We will be back. Max is a champion.”
What so you, Maniacs? What is your reaction to Rohskopf calling a stop to his own UFC debut? Should his corner be held accountable for not stepping in?
Let us know!
For complete UFC on ESPN 11 results and coverage click here.