Raquel Pennington’s coaches are being slammed for not stopping her fight against UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 224.
Pennington was overheard saying she was done after the fourth round of the headlinging title fight, but she was sent back out and received a brutal beating at the hands of the bantamweight champion.
It was clear that Pennington was outmatched and had already taken some heavy hits from the champion, but her coaches did not offer her any relief.
Corner: "No, no, no, no."
— #UFCChile: Maia vs. Usman on BT Sport (@btsportufc) 13 May 2018
Two minutes into the fifth, Nunes finally finished Pennington off with a flurry of punches – but many feel the fight should never have gone that far.
Publicly, at least, Pennington is backing her coaches. Her partner Tecia Torres posted on Instagram on Sunday, saying they both agree with the decision.
#Forever I am extremely proud of my lady. You are a warrior babe. Fought every second you possibly could. You continue to amaze me daily. You motivate me to work hard and one day too receive the same opportunity to fight for a UFC championship. We are the 1%ers. Very few will ever know what we go thru as fighters and an even smaller percentage will ever earn the chance to fight on such a big stage and for a world title. #RideOrDie #AlwaysProud PS: Both us and our coaches agree with the decision made to go into the 5th round. We know Raquel more than anyone else and know if we let her give up on herself going into the last round she would have always regretted it. She fought with heart and grit until the end. PSS: Exactly one year ago today you asked me to marry you, I can't freaking wait to wife you! 💍 @raquel_pennington
“Both us and our coaches agree with the decision made to go into the 5th round,” Torres wrote. “We know Raquel more than anyone else and know if we let her give up on herself going into the last round she would have always regretted it. She fought with heart and grit until the end.”
Former bantamweight champion Miesha Tate also weighed in on the controversy, and said Pennington’s coaches did the right thing by allowing her to go out with dignity.
“I think that I would’ve done the same thing if I was in her corner’s shoes. It’s important that a fighter loses with dignity, and I think that Raquel lost with dignity. She went out there and she got finished. She went out on her shield,” Tate said on Sirius XM Rush.
“I would have done the same thing because sometimes when you’re tired and you don’t think you have enough left, your coach’s job is to pull the most out of you and I think that’s what the corner was trying to do – not let her give up on herself, get her back in the game mentally.
“When you’re in those mentally weak spots, that what your coach is there to do. Your coach is there to say, ‘No, no, no. Don’t give up on yourself. You made it this far. You’ve got one more round. Five more minutes for the rest of your life. I’m not going to let you quit.’ That’s the coach’s job and I think that he made the right decision.”