UFC President Dana White has defended Max Rohskopf’s decision to give up during his debut at UFC on ESPN 11.
The lightweight newcomer made his first Octagon appearance on 20 June against Austin Hubbard. The fight didn’t go according to plan for Rohskopf as he came out fast but failed to secure any submission attempts. His opponent used a barrage of strikes to push forward which resulted in Rohskopf heading back to his corner with blood streaming down his face. The 25-year old told his team he could not continue, but his chief cornerman Robert Drysdale tried to convince him otherwise. Rohskopf stuck to his guns and the referee Mark Smith ultimately waved the fight off. Austin Hubbard walked away with the second-round TKO win by retirement.
The unusual end to the preliminary fight caught the attention of the UFC President, who showed his support for the UFC newcomer, Rohskopf.
In a post-fight interview, Dana White backed the 155-pound fighter.
“Let me tell you what, in this f**king sport, if you’re done, you’re done,” White said during the post-fight press conference. “You should absolutely be able to quit. I know that it’s frowned upon but guess what? Anybody that would talk sh*t about you quitting, isn’t in there fighting. It’s real easy to be a critic. What these kids do is a whole other level.
“As the guy who runs this organization, as the guy who’s involved in the matchmaking and everything else, you see these kids, we deal with managers from all over the world, they’re like ‘this guy’s the guy, this guy’s the guy!’ When you get here, this is a whole different level and that guy’s not ready and he might not ever be ready.”
The 25-year-old took the fight on just five days’ notice, and the short window of time to cut weight could have had a detrimental impact on his performance. Whatever the reason, it is unlikely that it will soften the blow of Rohskopf’s first professional loss. White related to the young fighter and believes Max Rohskopf will need to do some soul searching before making his next move.
“I’ve told you guys this many times before, I believed back in the day that I was a fighter and I wanted to do this and that, and one day I found out that I wasn’t,” White said. “The realization was that I wasn’t. When you find out, you need to walk away. I’m not saying that’s the case with this kid, but if that kid felt like he needed to quit tonight, who the f**k is anybody to judge him on that?
“He had the balls to come here and fight and take a short-notice fight in the UFC. Period.
“He’s got to get up tomorrow morning and look at himself in the mirror and figure out who he is and what he wants to do,” White said. “There is no shame in getting here and finding out you’re not it. There’s no shame in that at all.”
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