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UFC releases Max Rohskopf after quitting in short-notice debut

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Rohskopf lost to Austin Hubbard after two rounds.

Max Rohskopf’s UFC debut generated much debate and controversy, and now the lightweight prospect is already out of the promotion.

MMA Fighting confirmed on Wednesday that Rohskopf has been released following his second-round TKO loss to Austin Hubbard at UFC Vegas 4, aka UFC on ESPN 11, on June 20th. After a solid opening round, Rohskopf noticeably faded and was getting beaten up in round two, which prompted him to tell his corner to “call it [off].” Robert Drysdale insisted on sending him out there for round three, but when referee Mark Smith came over the coaxing stopped and so did the fight.

There was plenty of outrage over what looked to be negligence on the part of Drysdale, but not only did Robert stand by his actions, Rohskopf put the onus on himself for what he effectively described as having a mental hang-up when faced with adversity.

“I’ve done this my whole life. I’ve self-boycotted myself. Even when I was wrestling in high school, I was the best in the state and ended up getting third because I self-boycotted myself. I was one of the best guys in the country in college, was never an All-American when it counted, because I was telling myself that, for whatever reason, I don’t deserve it.

“That’s exactly what I did in my fight with Austin. Sh-t got hard, and I looked at my coach and said, ‘I don’t want to be here anymore.’ Not because I didn’t want to be there, but because I didn’t think I deserved to be there.”

In the post-fight press conference, Dana White defended Rohskopf and that there’s “no shame” in quitting.

“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.

“You gave it a shot, it didn’t work out. Anybody who would try to ridicule a kid like that, f*ck you. Come try it. Come try and do what he did tonight. Very few people can do it.”

Rohskopf accepted the fight vs. Hubbard on five days’ notice, entering the contest with an unbeaten record of 5-0. The 25-year-old’s victories were all within the 3:11 mark of round two, and the Hubbard bout represented the longest and (obviously) toughest of his career.

Usually the UFC is willing to give fighters a second chance when they step up on short notice, but perhaps the fallout from Rohskopf’s loss has proved an exception to the rule. It may even prove to be more beneficial for him to return to the regional scene.