Heading into UFC on ESPN 11 on June 20 in Las Vegas, few people would have predicted that the very first fight on the card—it featured 28-year-old prospect Austin Hubbard (12-3) and the debuting 25-year-old Max Rohskopf (5-0)—would lead the news cycle coming out of it.
By now you’re familiar with the salient details. Rohskopf asked coach Robert Drysdale in between the second and third rounds to call the fight; Drysdale refused. Over 60 seconds Rohskopf asked nine times for Drysdale to throw in the towel, telling him “I don’t want to do this anymore” and “I don’t have it.” Drysdale told him to “f—ing stop it” and instructed him to continue. “You’re a f—ing champion,” he said, before instructing him to use his wrestling to grind out a decision victory. The whistle sounded to signify that the third round was about to start and that the cornermen needed to exit the Octagon. Rohskopf was still on his stool. Ringside officials briefly coalesced around him. Rohskopf repeated his request for the fight to be stopped. The referee took his arm and asked him whether he wanted to continue. He answered in the negative. The fight was mercifully called to an end.
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