After battering Max Rohskopf for the majority of the second round in their fight at UFC on ESPN 11, Austin Hubbard was confident the end was coming soon.
With a goal in mind to earn his first finish in the UFC, Hubbard sat in his corner, waiting for time to expire so he could go out and put Rohskopf away in the third round. Before he could throw a single punch, Hubbard saw the referee wave off the fight, and he wasn’t quite sure what exactly was happening.
“Honestly, I didn’t even know that (Rohskopf) was the one that called off the fight until after the fight,” Hubbard told MMA Fighting. “When I was standing there, I thought the doctor stopped it, or maybe his corner. I wasn’t too sure what was going on.
“I didn’t hear him from across the cage, obviously. I didn’t realize that he was the one who just didn’t want to go back out there until after the fight.”
Between the second and third round, Rohskopf went to his corner and immediately told his coach Robert Drysdale that he was done and didn’t want to continue. Drysdale tried to convince him that he could still fight, but Rohskopf kept repeating over and over again that he was finished.
A moment later when the ringside physician checked on Rohskopf, he heard the same thing, and the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
In the aftermath of Rohskopf quitting on the stool, the 25-year-old prospect has faced criticism for his decision while others have bombarded his coaches for not listening to him when he asked to stop the fight.
For his part, Hubbard actually feels for Rohskopf, but at the same time, he’s a little disappointed that the focus has been on his opponent quitting rather than the person who made him quit.
“It was a pretty cool feeling to break someone like that,” Hubbard said. “I do feel bad for him. It was short notice, but he was under-experienced. I feel bad for him. I feel like he’s taking a lot of heat, but I came out ready. I came out on a mission. I know what I was bringing to the table and I was determined to do what I did. I feel like people are giving him a lot of heat and no one’s really giving me credit for it. That’s fine.
“The fact that I was an underdog was even a little more fuel to the fire to really go out there and prove a point. I went out there and did that exactly.”
Rohskopf agrees Hubbard should be receiving more credit for his win this past Saturday night.
“I think that it’s absolutely disgusting that people aren’t talking about Austin and his performance,” Rohskopf told MMA Fighting. “His back was against the wall. If I would’ve went out there and beat him, he would’ve been 1-3 in the UFC, which wouldn’t have looked good.
“No one should be f**kin’ talking about me, they should be talking about Austin and his performance.”
When it comes to the stoppage, Hubbard won’t give Rohskopf any grief for deciding he couldn’t continue after the second round. But it’s tough for him to relate to that situation because he doesn’t see any scenario where he would make that same call for himself.
“It’s hard for me to have an opinion on [his decision to quit], because I don’t think I could ever do that,” Hubbard said. “I’m not one to knock him for doing it. Wish him the best and I’m sure he’ll learn from the experience and grow. I’m sure he’ll come back stronger.”
Despite Hubbard’s name being absent from headlines when it came to making Rohskopf quit on the stool after spending two rounds in the octagon with him, the Team Elevation fighter is still happy with his win and the message it sends to future opponents.
With hopes to fight as often as the UFC will have him, Hubbard is proud of his victory this past Saturday night, and he’s already thinking about the next one.
“It definitely makes me feel good,” Hubbard said. “He had a lot of hype coming in there. He had a lot of high level experience with his wrestling career and his jiu-jitsu career, so to do something like that, I know you’ve got to be a tough kid and a hard worker.
“To be able to put it on someone of that caliber and make them not want to come back out, it definitely means something. It gives me confidence. It makes me know the things I’m doing are working.”