Published on : 21/06/2020 – 22:00
Max Rohskopf’s first fight at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) on Saturday June 20 was punctuated by a controversial scene. Dominated, the American lightweight asked to give up against Austin Hubbard. But his coach, Robert Drysdale, refused his request. It took the intervention of the referee for Max Rohskopf’s will to be respected.
It is an image that somewhat tarnishes the reputation of mixed martial arts (MMA). Saturday, June 20, took place the meeting of UFC Vegas 3, with in high point the confrontation between the heavyweights Curtis Blaydes and Alexander Volkov. Before the big meeting of the evening, other fights took place, including the very first of Max Rohskopf. The 25-year-old lightweight was fighting for the first time in the UFC against compatriot Austin Hubbard.
“Throw in the towel, I don’t want to fight anymore, I don’t have what it takes”
Max Rohskopf, undefeated so far, accepted the challenge at the UFC against Austin Hubbard only five days before Saturday. And he delivered a good first round before slowing down in the second. More experienced, Hubbard took the upper hand and delivered several blows to his opponent, including one severe in the left eye.
Tested at the end of the second round, Rohskopf returns to his corner. This is where the controversial scene begins. The fighter immediately tells his trainer Robert Drysdale that he wants to give up: ” Call it » (« Throw the towel “). But his coach refuses: ” You can beat him Max, you have what it takes. » « No I can not », Retorts Rohskopf.
For more than 40 seconds, the two men are chatting. Rohskopf insists on giving up and repeats it, but Drysdale refuses. ” You’re going to beat him, listen to me », « Stop, stop, we can have it », « You are a champion Insists the coach. ” Rob, throw in the towel », « I don’t want to fight anymore », « I don’t have what it takes “Says the fighter.
At the referee’s call to resume the fight, and despite Robert Drysdale’s insistence, Max Rohskopf finally won. Addressing the officials, he said he wanted to give up. The fight then ends.
Drysdale assume, White comprend
The scene between Rohskopf and Drysdale drew a lot of negative comments. Many observers have deemed the attitude of the coach inappropriate, believing that when a fighter refuses to resume fighting, his will must be respected. Others stood up for Drysdale, who defended himself:
« I regret nothing. I did the right thing. I would do it again. If I could change one thing, I would insist more because he (Max Rohskopf, editor’s note) was not injured. It is the role of the coach to push the limits of his fighters, physically, technically and mentally. (…) I think he was mentally affected. He was tired (especially from losing weight) and his mind weakened. (…) It is the job of a coach. I want excellence from my fighters, nothing else. I was not wrong. People will speak. Let them speak. I was not wrong. »
Dana White, president of the UFC, gave him cautious support for Max Rohskopf: “ If this young man felt he had to give up, who can judge him? The famous leader also said, ” Anyone who speaks badly of him because he has given up doesn’t have to fight. It is very easy to criticize. But what these kids do goes beyond everything. “And to those who” make fun of this kid “Who has given up, Dana White has a flowery message:” Go make yourself … »