John McCarthy 'understands why Robert Drysdale did what he did' in Max Rohskopf's corner

McCarthy: "He believes in his guy. He's trying to talk his guy through... But when Max continuously says 'Call it, I'm done'. It's time to get him out."

Wednesday 24 June 2020 12:48, UK

Max Rohskopf
Image: Rohskopf was pulled from the fight after pleading with his corner to be withdrawn

Undoubtedly the biggest talking point from the world of MMA this week was an incident in the first fight of the UFC's card in Las Vegas last Saturday.

After two rounds in the octagon with Austin Hubbard, Max Rohskopf instructed his corner to pull him out of the fight. His coach Robert Drysdale pleaded with him several times to continue, before eventually conceding to the officials that Rohskopf would not be continuing.

It sparked huge debate online, with many opining that Rohskopf's corner should have heeded his instructions on the first time of asking.

"I think the story needs to be told truthfully, insofar as what occurred," former UFC referee and now-Bellator analyst John McCarthy said to Sky Sports.

"Fighters saying they want out of fights happens a lot. Now it doesn't happen a lot at the level of the UFC.

"It happened with Raquel Pennington against Amanda Nunes, and her corner pushed her back out. Back then I said, when a fighter tells you 'I'm done, get me out', it doesn't matter how much coaching you do at that point to try to bring them back... They've checked out.

"I've no problem with what Robert Drysdale did. Let's be honest about the situation. Robert Drysdale tried to talk his guy back in. He tried to mentally get him back into the fight. Do I think he's going to be successful in that? I don't think he's going to be successful in that. But he's trying, because he knows... 'I've worked with Max, I know Max, I know how good he is... All it takes is one mistake on Hubbard's part and Max is going to get a win'.

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"He believes in his guy. He's trying to talk his guy through.

"But when Max continuously says 'Call it, I'm done', it's time to get him out.

"Robert does eventually tell the inspector he wants out. And the inspector then calls Mark Smith who's the referee, he waves the fight off as soon as he hears it."

Max Rohskopf
Image: Rohskopf had shipped heavy damage in the second round

And McCarthy feels the protocols were implemented perfectly.

"It's the right call. The whole system actually worked the way it's supposed to," he continued.

"If Robert Drysdale does not tell the inspector he wants out, the inspector still should go and call Mark Smith over and say 'hey, I have heard he wants out of this fight' and that way Mark can go and have a conversation with him.

"But overall everything worked out well. I understand why Robert Drysdale did what he did. But I'm just saying that, 'when a fighter tells you he wants out of the fight, get him out'."

Has McCarthy seen fighters be convinced to return for another round, after getting their mind changed?

"I've seen them go back out, but I've never seen them be successful," he said.

Ultimately, there are more important things than the result of a fight.

"People put too much importance on a simple fight," he noted. "Yes, he's going to have a loss on his record. So what?

"Even if the UFC lets him go. So what? He's going to go on, he's going to be able to get new fights, he's going to be able to build his career back up, and he's going to end up back in the big shows."