UFC newcomer Max Rohskopf had five days’ notice for a bout with Austin Hubbard at UFC on ESPN 11 and performed well in the first round. But after a brutal second, Rohskopf decided he couldn’t continue and called off the fight before the final frame.
Rohskopf, a highly touted grappler, told cornerman Robert Drysdale “I don’t have it” and told referee Mark Smith he didn’t want to continue the preliminary card bout on Saturday at UFC APEX.
Drysdale, a UFC vet and decorated jiu-jitsu player, tried to talk Rohskopf out of his decision moments before the call.
“You got this,” he told Rohskopf.
“I don’t want to do this any more,” Rohskopf replied.
“No, we got this,” Drysdale pleaded. “You’re a champion. You’re a f*cking champion ... Get on top of him and outwrestle him.”
Here's how it all went down in Max Rohskopf's corner. pic.twitter.com/Obn1uhdXIs— Lifelong TOMpa Bay Buccaneers fan (@FTBeard1) June 20, 2020
Rohskopf used several creative techniques to coax Hubbard to the canvas for a submission, but he was unable to keep the fight grounded. On the feet, Hubbard began to batter the newcomer’s leg with kicks, and then he went upstairs to the body and head. Rohskopf took several hard shots and appeared to run out of steam by the end of the second. He was bleeding badly from his brow and eye.
After the fight had been called, Rohskopf squatted beside the fence, clearly devastated by the result. He and Hubbard exchanged congratulations before the octagon was cleared.
Going into UFC on ESPN 11, the 25-year-old Rohskopf was undefeated as a pro with five wins. Hubbard got back into the win column after a decision setback against Mark O. Madson at UFC 248.