(Editor’s note: Story updated to reflect Nevada Athletic Commission’s intention to investigate incident.)
Max Rohskopf had to take stopping his UFC debut into his own hands.
Rohskopf (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC), who entered the fight as an unbeaten lightweight prospect each win by submission, was outmatched by Austin Hubbard (12-4 MMA, 2-2 UFC) through two rounds after taking the matchup on just 10 days’ notice.
The fight became increasingly dominant in Hubbard’s favor as it wore on, but not so much that Rohskopf found himself in true danger of being finished. He was clearly defeated, though, after Round 2 as he went back to his corner telling coach Robert Drysdale that he didn’t want to continue.
Rohskopf told Drysdale to “call it” several times and also said “I don’t have it.” Drysdale refused to oblige to Rohskopf’s request, instead urging him to push through. Drysdale attempted to leave the octagon after telling his fighter to go out and establish top position.
Rohskopf didn’t get off the stool, though, which caught the attention of referee Mark Smith, who called for a timeout before the start of the third round. Smith approached Rohskopf and asked him if he wanted to continue the fight, and Rohskopf answered no. The fight was immediately called off.
Watch the sequence in the video below:
The Nevada Athletic Commission said it would investigate the sequence of events that took place.
“That’s something we will take a look at,” NSAC executive director Bob Bennett told ESPN. “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).”
Rohskopf’s manager, Brian Butler, provided an update on his condition to ESPN, saying the 25-year-old “suffered from fatigue due to (a) short-notice weight cut and pre-existing turf toe.”
The situation comes on the heels of two recent UFC main events that called corners’ unwillingness to stop fights into question. In May, Anthony Smith’s corner was questioned for letting his fight with Glover Teixeira go on too long. In the aftermath, referee Jason Herzog apologized for his role.
Two weeks ago at UFC 250, Amanda Nunes soundly defeated Felicia Spencer over the course of 25 minutes, leading to questions about whether that fight should’ve been stopped sooner.