Monday, 23 July, 2018

Raquel Pennington's head coach explains controversial decision not to stop fight

Raquel Pennington A Tale of Two Sports Corner Stoppages in MMA vs. Boxing Kyle Symes Raquel Pennington A Tale of Two Sports Corner Stoppages in MMA vs. Boxing Kyle Symes
Melinda Barton | 17 May, 2018, 12:04

Me and my head coach, we had a talk and he's like, "You know I have your best interest at heart".

While the likes of Nunes, Kevin Lee, Brian Ortega, Rafael dos Anjos and Yves Edwards all strongly disagreed with Pennington's corner failing to throw in the towel, not everyone is upset with the decision.

However, Jason Kutz-one of her coaches-responded by saying "change your mindset" and helped convince her to go out for the fifth round, per Okamoto. "She went out on her shield", Tate said on Sirius XM Rush. So when Nunes put the beating on her for four rounds, all the evidence pointed towards one result - more damage incurred in the final round.

"I agreed with my coaches as soon as the fight was done". "I agreed with them in that moment, because at the end of the day, the ball's still in my court". Because at the end of the day, when you give up, it's a whole different ballgame there. "She trained her ass off for a long time to get this title shot, and in the fifth round of the title fight, I know her leg hurts, but hey, I thought that she could go out there and go". I could've sat down and tapped out.

Not known for her knockout power, Raquel made the call based on what she believed to be a virtually unwinnable fight but after being urged by her corner, she continued, only to be finished brutally moments later. I think her battle wounds from this fight, they'll heal. The extent of the injury to Pennington's leg is unknown at this stage as she said the medical treatment she received after the fight in Rio de Janeiro was "terrible" and her fiancee Tecia Torres and her made a decision to wait until they were back in the United States to seek further medical attention. "I'm actually proud of my coaches", Pennington said on The MMA Hour.

Still, the fighter supported her coaches and took pride in finishing the fight instead of calling it quits after the fourth round. I already asked Nina to text her - if she needs anything, I'm here.

On criticism of the corner's decision to send her back out for round five: "I think that I would've done the same thing if I was in her corner's shoes". Quitting's not an option in that aspect, and in that moment, I was quitting on myself. "I would've been mad", Pennington added, "and I would've been more mad at myself, so I'm glad that my coaches didn't let me give up on myself". "And that's when a coach steps in and they push their athlete".

"I never fight with somebody that's a friend. I want to be done". And I told him, 'You pushed me to be the better athlete. After enduring 20 minutes of punishment and brandishing a busted nose, "Rocky" knew she didn't have anything left and told her corner she had had enough. You're a genius for not letting me give up in that fifth round.' You always have a little bit more in the gas tank when you feel like you're done. In response, Kutz repeatedly said no and added, "Don't go out like this".

Raquel Penningon's head coach regrets nothing about the words he used with the UFC women's bantamweight title challenger this past Saturday at UFC 224. "So when she said what she said, when she looked me in the eye, I knew that's not what she wanted to do".