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Trainers for UFC fighter Max Rohskopf have been slammed by fighting experts for refusing to end their fighter’s UFC Vegas 3 bout, despite Rohskopf practically begging his corner to throw in the towel.
Rohskopf was drafted in for a preliminary bout against Austin Hubbard, but told the referee he did not want to continue the fight after being thoroughly outclassed through the first two rounds.
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It’s believed to be the first time a fighter has sought to end their own UFC bout since 2014.
Of concern to many UFC pundits was vision of Rohskopf clearly asking his trainer, Robert Drysdale, to end the fight multiple times throughout the second round - and his pleas falling on deaf ears.
Veteran MMA reporter Ariel Helwani was horrified by the spectacle.
He said while he could understand Dysdale trying to fire up his fighter, there was no excuse not to throw in the towel after being instructed to several times.
“This is infuriating. I counted Max saying ‘call it’ nine times in this sequence,” Helwani tweeted.
“And that’s in addition to the other times he clearly wanted out.
“Absolute reckless behaviour by his corner. Once should be enough. It’s a prelim, short notice right. C’mon. Live to fight another day.
“Painful to see Max having to whisper it after MULTIPLE times saying ‘call it’. Why make your fighter go through that? Unbelievable.”
UFC fans rally behind Max Rohskopf
The referees and officials were praised by MMA fans for stepping in and listening to Rohskopf’s plea to end the fight.
Fans were also impressed by Rohskopf’s decision not to risk his health by continuing the fight, backing his decision to return with a full training camp and preparation under his belt.
Broadcaster Zach Johnson said it was a smart decision in the long run.
“Major respect for Max Rohskopf knowing that he was done and telling his corner & the doctor to stop the fight and stop him from taking unnecessary damage,” he tweeted.
“No respect for his corner that was trying to pressure him to continue anyway. LISTEN! TO! YOUR! FIGHTER!”