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Austin Hubbard out to prove making Max Rohskopf quit on the stool was no fluke

UFC Fight Night: Hubbard v Rohskopf
Max Rohskopf and Austin Hubbard
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Austin Hubbard had to face a double-edged sword following his recent win over former UFC prospect Max Rohskopf.

On one hand, Hubbard had arguably his best performance to date inside the octagon as he stuffed takedown attempts from Rohskopf and then absolutely battered him with strikes on the feet. At the end of the second round, Rohskopf told his corner repeatedly that he was finished and the fight was eventually stopped.

In the aftermath of that fight, Rohskopf became the focal point because he quit on the stool, which received attention from a slew of athletes as well as UFC President Dana White after the event was finished. Lost in the mix, however, was Hubbard, who actually poured on the punishment that led to Rohskopf declaring he could not continue.

As he prepares to return to action this weekend at UFC on ESPN 15, Hubbard admits it still stings a little bit that he didn’t get as much credit as deserved for that win over Rohskopf but he can’t disregard the extra attention he received no matter how it happened.

“Anytime your name’s getting tossed around, whether good, bad or about you, any type of thing when your name’s involved, it’s good. Unless it’s super bad,” Hubbard said with a laugh when speaking to MMA Fighting. “Thank god, in this case it’s not. It helps grow my name a little bit more. Like when I got the compartment syndrome after the Kyle Prepolec fight, because of that and it’s not necessarily because of my performance but still my name was tossed around and used a lot.

“Same thing with that. They were talking a lot about him quitting and retiring on the stool. No one seemed to say too much about me but he was fighting me so my name was still in the equation. It’s still good.”

Following the fight, Rohskopf was actually released from the UFC after accepting the bout against Hubbard on short notice.

While he obviously has no control over the UFC’s decision making, Hubbard was admittedly surprised the former North Carolina State wrestler didn’t get another opportunity despite the circumstances surrounding the end of their fight.

“I thought they would give him another shot, especially since he took it on a week’s notice,” Hubbard said. “Even in the press conference, Dana [White] seemed to stand up for him a little bit, too. I was kind of surprised to see that but at the same time, it is kind of a bad look.

“I’m sure he’ll go off, win some fights in the regional scenes, get his confidence back up, get some experience and there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll be back for sure.”

As for his own career, Hubbard returns this weekend to face Joe Solecki — the opponent Rohskopf replaced back in June.

Because he’s bounced back and forth between wins and losses since first arriving in the UFC, Hubbard wants to build off the momentum he gained in the win over Rohskopf by putting on another impressive showing on Saturday night.

“I feel like each time I go out there and compete, I get more and more comfortable,” Hubbard explained. “Especially with that last fight, I feel like it showed my comfort level in there.

“I was really trying to be more active, more aggressive, not waiting on my opponent so to speak. Taking the fight to him because I know that’s what I’m capable of. As opposed to the people I lost to, being a little too tentative, overthinking things a little bit too much. Making a bigger deal than what I was really. I feel like I settled down and I’m ready to come into my own.”

More than anything, Hubbard wants to show that his win over Rohskopf wasn’t an anomaly but rather just the start of what he hopes will be an impressive winning streak in the UFC.

“That’s something I’m very determined to prove,” Hubbard said. “[Max Rohskopf is] not necessarily a quitter. I just really took it to him and I can put that type of pressure, that type of performance together consistently. That I’m a real force. To continue and grow my name and my stock in the division and put on these exciting fights.

“I think it’s a perfect opponent to hopefully get a performance bonus or a Fight of the Night bonus.”

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