UFC trainer Robert Drysdale is insisting that he “did the right thing” by refusing to throw in the towel for Max Rohskopf at UFC on ESPN 11, despite the fighter being heard on camera stating nine different times to call the fight.
Rohskopf, who stepped up on five days’ notice, tasted defeat for the first time in his career when quitting against Austin Hubbard on the cusp of the third and final round of their lightweight bout at the UFC’s Apex facility in Las Vegas.
Drysdale and Rohskopf could be seen in an intense back and forth during a rest period between rounds where the fighter could be heard telling his coach to ‘call it’ and inform the ref that he was done.
Drysdale later defended his actions, insisting he hasn’t changed his stance and is convinced he “did the right thing.”
“I’d do it again,” Drysdale said, according to MMA Fighting. “If I could change one thing, I would have insisted more because he wasn’t hurt.
“The coach’s job is to take the athlete to the extreme technically, physically and mentally. I think he lost his head there. He got tired and his head got weak.”
“I want what’s best for him, I worry about him, and it’s my obligation to give him a mental push. ‘Brother, don’t give up, you won’t give up.’ I do that every day in the gym.
“He’s tired and I say, ‘One more round.’ That’s my job. If I’m there, and I let the guy quit on the first adversity, I’m not doing my job right,” Drysdale continued.
Drysdale said he was unconcerned by the backlash.
“People will talk, let them talk, but I’m not wrong… He took the fight on five days’ notice knowing that his cardio wasn’t there, he lost to his cardio, that’s when the loss started.
“The fight was even, it’s not like he was getting beat up. He won the first round and lost the second, he wasn’t getting beat up. He could have returned to the third with his head in the right place, with the right strategy, the one I was trying to give him, and we would win the decision.”
He may be unconcerned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission will reportedly investigate the end of the bout.