Max Rohskopf, a UFC prospect took a fight on 5 days notice. After a second round in which he got dominated he walked back to his corner and repeatedly told his coach “Call It.” His coach, Robert Drysdale seemed to be shocked by this and tried to get his fighter in the spirit to get back into the fight and win. The exchange ended with Rohskopf refusing to get up and the fight being called. His coach has been getting a lot of backlash recently and is currently under investigation by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
I want to start of by saying that I am not a fighter and do not know how Max Rohskopf felt while he was on the bench. I am just a UFC fan who is putting my intake on the situation.
INITIAL REACTION: This exchange between fighter and coach caught me by surprise because it seems like many fighters have the kill or be killed mentality. This can be shown in the Deontay Wilder fight, where he ended up firing the coach who threw in the towel. Another example is in Anthony Smith’s last fight on May 13th. Smith’s corner got backlash for not throwing the towel in, however Smith said he told his coaches he would never stand with a coach who threw in the towel. So it is very rare for a fighter to beg their coach to stop the fight.
COACH’S VIEW: The reason I think Drysdale tried to convince Rohskopf to continue was because of his inexperience. You have a fighter who only has 5 professional fights and Hubbard was probably his first real challenge. Drysdale probably though that Rohskopf didn’t know how to bounce back after losing a round and was giving up on himself. He was trying to convince Max that he is a great fighter and he can pull out with the win. He didn’t want his fighter to get the mentality that he was just going to give up in the face of adversity.
FIGHTER’S VIEW: Max Rohskopf took the fight on 5 days notice, so he didn’t know he was going to have his first fight in his UFC career one week before he entered the cage. Max hasn’t fought since February and who knows how well he was training during quarantine. His cardio was probably half of what it would be if he had a full fight camp. This was also the second time he made it out of the first round in 6 professional MMA fights. I believe that he was just too exhausted to continue and their is nobody to blame for that. In 5 days he had to cut weight and try to get into fight ready shape, some fighters start training 3 months before their fight. Max felt he had nothing left in the gas tank and knew he couldn’t continue. Nobody could tell how he was feeling in the moment, so I do not think there is anyone to blame for what went on.
Photo Credit: Zuffa