Robert Drysdale drew a lot of controversy on Saturday while he was at the corner of debuting Max Rohskopf. As seen on video, the 25-year-old fighter repeatedly called for the fight to be stopped at the end of round two, only for his pleas to be rejected by Drysdale.
The retired MMA veteran released a short comment to ESPN after the fight where he defended his decision at the time. He then put out a lengthier statement via Instagram hours later, explaining his side of the story.
“He wasn’t seriously hurt,” Drysdale said of Rohskopf (transcript by MMA Junkie). “I know he was not in harm’s way. He was just frustrated. I was trying to give him a push so he overcame that frustration. I still believe he could have won the fight. I felt he won the first round. I don’t see how he lost the first round.
“He definitely lost (the second) round. I think he thought he could’ve turned it in the third. Even if not in an exciting matter, he could have won a decision. That’s what I was trying to get him to do.
“If you pay close attention, I did call the fight at the very last second,” he added. “I did the right thing. I exhausted the 60 seconds and at the very last second, I called it. Strategically, that was the correct thing to do. I don’t regret my decision at all.”
Drysdale also felt he was deliberately put in a bad light by how his actions were depicted in news reports about the incident.
“I think you should stand by some code of ethics that you don’t see in journalism today,” he said. “The video is edited in a way that there is no context. It looks like he’s severely injured and clearly, he wasn’t. There needs to be more context to these things.
“But, it is what it is. I hope the UFC gives him another shot. I know he’s a champion. That doesn’t change how I feel about him one bit.”
Ultimately, Drysdale felt he did what he had to do as a coach and mentor.
“I stand by what I did,” he said. “I gave him the mental coach that he needed. I would expect the exact same thing from him if he was in my shoes – or any of my coaches for that matter. I expect nothing but greatness from the people around me.
“If they’re critiquing me, that’s love. That’s true love. That’s the only way to show you care for someone. It’s to make sure they’re giving the best version of themselves.
“If he had been seriously injured, I would have been the first one to stop that fight,” Drysdale continued. “I would’ve stopped that fight before anyone else. No one cares about him more than I do other than his immediate family.”
According to Nevada State Athletic Commission director Bob Bennett, Drysdale may face disciplinary action for his actions on Saturday night.
About the author