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.
This is infuriating. I counted Max saying “call it” nine times in this sequence. And that’s in addition to the other times he clearly wanted out. Absolute reckless behavior by his corner. Once should be enough. It’s a prelim short notice right. C’mon. Live to fight another day. https://t.co/8F0wkffTwh— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) June 20, 2020
“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!”
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.— “ZackAttack” Zach Johnson (@RadioZT) June 20, 2020
No respect for his corner that was trying to pressure him to continue anyway. LISTEN! TO! YOUR! FIGHTER!#UFCVegas3
wow. I've never seen that before. Max Rohskopf asked his corner to stop the fight around 20 times and they wouldn't do it. I get firing up your fighter when their down but that was difficult to watch. fair play to the doctor and ref for jumping in. #UFCVegas3— danny (@dannyodwyer) June 20, 2020
Rohskopf's had enough. I'm not mad at him. He was overmatched and it was very likely going to get bad. Save yourself the beating. Come back stronger the next time with a full camp. Huge win for Hubbard.— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) June 20, 2020
Hard to watch Max Rohskopf in his corner begging Robert Drysdale to pull him out, while Drysdale tried to rally his man. Ultimately, it was too much for him after stepping in on short notice. Ref calls it off. Hope he gets a second chance after a full fight camp. #UFCVegas3— Simon Head (@simonhead) June 20, 2020