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Coach Defends Not Calling Off Fight, Despite Max Rohskopf’s Repeated Calls to do So

Robert Drysdale is taking some heat for not calling off Max Rohskopf's fight as he requested, repeatedly. But, the decorated grappler is defending his actions.

The MMA world is talking about Max Rohskopf’s Octagon debut today. But, unfortunately for the lightweight prospect, it’s due to debate, and in some cases outrage, over how his fight ended at UFC Vegas 3.

Image Credit: ESPN / Twitter

Robert Drysdale defends not calling off the fight

Rohskopf recently got the call, on short-notice, to face Austin Hubbard on the prelims for Saturday’s card. Early on, Rohskopf showcased the wrestling and submission game that had prompted hype.

But, as the fight wore on, Rohskopf fatigued considerably, and he also ate numerous shots. After round two, the bloodied fighter could be heard telling his coach, Robert Drysdale, that he was done.

Drysdale, however, tried pumping the fighter up and encouraged him to keep fighting. According to a report from ESPN, however, Max Rohskopf could be heard saying nine times that he wanted the bout stopped.

The highly regarded grappler didn’t tell the officials Rohskopf wanted the fight stopped. It wasn’t until the fighter told a commission inspector he wanted it called off, that the bout was halted.

After the bout, Drysdale was contacted by ESPN, and he had this to say about the incident.

“I stand by what I did,” Drysdale said. “I expect excellence from the people I train because I love them. He wasn’t seriously hurt, and I felt he needed a mental push. I would expect the same from my coach.

“We will be back. Max is a champion.”

“…That is the job of a coach, to push their fighters physically, technically and mentally. I did my job, and I have no regrets because I believe Max has potential to be one of the greats.”

The report also includes a statement from NSAC executive director Bob Bennett, who said this.

“That’s something we will take a look at. We might want to take disciplinary action on them. That doesn’t sound like they are looking out for a fighter. Obviously, he didn’t want to come out [and fight].”

What’s next?

So, it will be interesting to see what comes out of this. Seeing coaches try to motivate fighter to keep fighting is nothing new. But, in this instance, due to how many times Rohskopf said he wanted out, it’s not surprising to see blow back online.

The fighter’s manager, Brian Butler, also sent ESPN this statement.

“Max suffered from fatigue due to the short-notice weight cut combined with a preexisting turf toe injury and was not able to overcome both,” Butler said.

“Didn’t think the turf toe would become an issue but combined with the fatigue he just could not keep going. He is going to take some time off to heal up.”

The 25-year-old Rohskopf had gone 5-0 in pro-bouts prior to UFC Vegas 3.

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