The UFC comes back to the Apex arena this week headlined by a pair of heavyweight contenders in Curtis Blaydes and Alexander Volkov. In the UFC on ESPN 11 co-main it’s an exciting banger between Josh Emmett and Shane Burgos in the featherweight division. Other notable fighters on the card are Tecia Torres, Jim Miller, Raquel Pennington, Clay Guida, Roxanne Modafferi, and other up-and-coming fighters.
In a lightweight bout, Austin Hubbard was supposed to take on Joe Solecki, but Joe had to pull out. Now newcomer Max Rohskopf will step in for Hubbard taking the fight in under a week’s notice.
Las Vegas, Nevada, US
How will Max fare in the UFC:
Max Rohskopf grew up wrestling and before transitioning to MMA he was a D1 wrestler for NC State. In 2016 he won the ACC championship at 165lbs. He’s also competed in grappling where he’s done pretty well. He’s 5-0 in MMA with five first-round submissions. In other words, Rohskopf is a major submission threat.
His grappling experience has played a big part in his MMA career as he is excellent at taking the back and just bullying on top. Rohskopf has four submissions by rear-naked choke proving why when he gets the back he’s probably going to finish you. He is very good at attacking the front choke to snap the fight down and mix in chokes putting them together so well including the d’arce choke and the anaconda choke.
On the feet, Max is green but still dangerous. He throws a lot of plodding kicks to just hide his takedown entrances. His best weapon on the feet is his overhand right as he uses it to close distance, but it also has power, dropping an opponent in the past. Rohskopf doesn’t show much on the feet, frankly, because of how quickly he can get the fight to the mat. It’s as simple as that. The D1 wrestler is a lockdown wrestler usually timing his shots perfectly and when he get under the legs he easily takes his opposition for a ride. It’s unknown how he will do in the UFC fighting stiff competition as the best record he’s beat so far is 13-8. Rohskopf is better suited to the Contender Series this early in his career, but many including myself believe he has tons of potential.
How Rohskopf matches up with Hubbard:
Of what’s been seen, Austin Hubbard has a big advantage on the feet. Hubbard has thudding leg kicks and does a great job mixing them with his strikes. He doesn’t have the stopping power but his pace and aggression break his opponents. Hubbard is a grinder who is always working and that is with outstanding cardio. Rohskopf has never even left the first round. Hubbard is better on the mat with his top control but if he was to go on the mat with Rohskopf there’s a good chance Rohskopf would be on top. All around I think Rohskopf is much better versed on the mat. It all leads to a question of whether Rohskopf can take Hubbard down. Before coming to the UFC he had solid takedown defense. In his two losses, he was taken down eleven times and they were to excellent wrestling/BJJ guys in Mark O. Madsen and Davi Ramos. The path to victory is clear for Rohskopf but his lack of experience and competition has me thinking Hubbard will outwork him to a decision.