UFC releases MMA prospect Max Rohskopf

MMA prospect Max Rohskopf has been released by the UFC.

The news was first reported by MMAFighting.com and confirmed by ESPN.

The 25-year-old Rohskopf garnered attention in June when he accepted a fight against Austin Hubbard on five days' notice. However, during the fight, Rohskopf, a previously undefeated prospect, repeatedly told his chief cornerman, Robert Drysdale, to end the fight going into the third and final round.

Drysdale refused to heed his fighter's pleas, however, and was ready to send Rohskopf back out. Rohskopf was heard telling Drysdale to "call it" nine times during the one-minute rest period between rounds. Ultimately, it was NSAC inspector Charvez Foger who noticed Rohskopf wanted out. So, he called upon the referee Mark Smith and the cageside physician to ask Rohskopf if he wanted to continue again and then called off the fight when Rohskopf confirmed he didn't.

A clip of the exchange went viral and became a major talking point in the sport. Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett told ESPN the commission would investigate the exchange, but ultimately nothing came of that.

Days later, Rohskopf said he did not fault his coach at all.

"For people to come out and say that he was wrong in that situation, there's literally no debate or discussion about it," Rohskopf said. "At the end of the day, I'm the one paying him. And that's what I wanted him to do. And that's what I expected him to do. And if I was cornering someone else, that's exactly what I would have done. There's really no discussion about it. Rob did the right thing, and he's always done right by me."

Drysdale, an accomplished Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner and a former UFC athlete who last competed in MMA in 2016, told ESPN he didn't regret his actions.

"I stand by what I did," Drysdale told ESPN. "I expect excellence from the people I train because I love them. He wasn't seriously hurt, and I felt he needed a mental push. I would expect the same from my coach.

"We will be back. Max is a champion."

At the post-fight conference that night, UFC president Dana White said, "if that kid felt like he needed to quit tonight, who the f--- is anybody to judge him on that?"

Ultimately, though, the promotion decided to part with Rohskopf this week, which is somewhat surprising because historically when a fighter takes a short-notice assignment, they'll get a second chance coming off a loss.

Rohskopf doesn't have his next fight booked yet, according to sources.