Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) newcomer, Max Rohskopf, made the difficult decision to throw in the towel on himself during his fight against Austin Hubbard at UFC on ESPN 11 this past weekend (Sat., June 20, 2020) in Las Vegas, Nevada, while his corner urged him to keep going.
While the decision was praised by UFC head honcho Dana White and many others in the mixed martial arts (MMA) world, there were some (like Dan Hooker) who ridiculed the UFC rookie, who took the fight on just 10 days notice.
Rohskopf's coach, Robert Drysdale, continues to try and explain the controversial incident. Speaking to ESPN's Ariel Helwani, Drysdale defended his decision to urge his fighter to push through. That's because the renowned trainer knew that come Monday morning, Rohskopf would regret quitting ... which he already does.
“I knew that he was going to regret the decision. It was going to be one of the gravest mistakes of his life,” he said. “He regrets it already ... I know that deep down, he didn’t want to quit.”
Every young fighter’s goal is to one day make it to the UFC Octagon, and Rohskopf is no different, says Drsydale. And though he says he teaches all of his fighters his philosophy of “control, control, damage, submission,” it seems Rohskopf got a little carried way, which lead to him gassing out. And his fatigue was multiplied the fact that he didn’t have a full training camp.
“[Max Rohskopf] dreams about that UFC title every day of his life…. In an emotional moment, a moment of weakness, he said, ‘I don’t want to be here,’ but I know that’s not the case,” Drysdale said before revealing that Rohskopf simply broke mentally (not psychically).
“Once he gassed he broke mentally. And him breaking mentally is what I was upset about. Because that’s not a physical health issue, that’s a matter of will. And that is what I was trying to fix in those 60 seconds. I did my best, and if I had 90 seconds to do it I would have done it, and if I had nine minutes I would have insisted for nine minutes to get back in there because I know that deep down he wants to fight.”
At the end of the say, Drysdale chalks it up to Rohskopf falling victim to a sudden emotional moment. Furthermore, Drysdale says that if Rohskopf wanted out because of a medical injury, he would've been the first person over the cage waving the towel.
During the post-fight presser, Dana White was non-committal about giving Rohskopf another chance to prove himself inside the Octagon, but did say that perhaps his decision to quit was proof that he simply isn’t cut out for the promotion ... yet.