This Saturday, June 20th at UFC on ESPN 11: Blaydes vs. Volkov, MMA fans will yet again witness another prospect making their UFC debut on short notice. Max Rohskopf (5-0 in MMA) comes into this weekend’s festivities with five submission wins to the bag and could very well be a promising new contender in the lightweight division. A former NCAA Division I wrestler at Carolina State University with a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he has a record that speaks for itself when it comes to grappling execution at the highest level.
But with that being said, Rohskopf’s overall game doesn’t solely rely upon his collegiate and Jiu-Jitsu accolades to get the job done. Currently, in possession of an excellent fight IQ along with a heavy right hand that can sit down just about any 155-pounder, Rohskopf has stayed ready during this time and although taking the call on short notice- and having quite a substantial test in front of him in the shape of Austin Hubbard- he is one to keep an eye on as his pro-career develops further. Residing in Las Vegas and training under Robert Drysdale at Zenith Jiu-Jitsu, Rohskopf’s patiently awaits his UFC debut come June 20th.
Across the cage from Max Rohskopf stands Elevation Fight Team’s Austin Hubbard (11-4 in MMA) in what will be his fourth outing to the UFC Octagon. Initially set to face Joe Solecki, who pulled out due to undisclosed personal reasons, Hubbard comes into this bout (1-3) inside the UFC. However, on paper that record does not do Hubbard justice as the two losses he suffered were against two extremely high-level and experienced grapplers in Davi Ramos (3rd degree BJJ blackbelt) and Mark O. Madsen (former Greco-Roman Olympic medalist), in which he was able to go the distance with both. He has shown that his gas tank and durability across three rounds is not a problem, even at a grapple-heavy, gruelling pace.
In his most recent fight against O. Madsen, Hubbard showed tremendous heart and was able to secure the last round with accumulated damage to Mark’s lead leg and did have him hurt at one point in the round from knees landed to the head and body. Unfortunately, the onslaught came a little too late and the decision was a unanimous one in favor of O.Madsen.
Hubbard has shown he does very well on the feet at distance; throws varied combinations and utilizes his front and leg kicks quite well. Despite facing grapplers with far more experience he does have good wrestling and the ability to survive on the ground. Although having a shorter than usual fight camp leading up to this event, Austin’s mental and physical readiness has yet to crack under the pressure of competing at the highest level of MMA.
This is an excellent test for each side as both fighters do have something to prove here. For Hubbard, it’s not only the challenge of having a last minute opponent change but also answering the questions of what adjustments he’s made to face yet another exceptional grappler and this time come out with the win. For Rohskopf, it will be about his ability to perform on short notice and get the job done against a solid lightweight with three fights already inside the UFC; which without a doubt will be his toughest opposition to date. June 20th we will find out where each of these fighters stand on a name-packed card headlined by top-contender heavyweights Curtis Blaydes (No. 3) and Alexander Volkov (No.7).