Raquel Pennington was battered and beat down for four rounds by champ Amanda Nunes during their UFC 224 title fight, to the point that – at least in the moment – she wanted her corner to throw in the towel.
That didn’t happen, though.
At the urging of her coach, Jason Kutz, Pennginton (9-6 MMA, 6-3 UFC) went back out for the final round, only to have Nunes (16-4 MMA, 9-1 UFC) punish her even more until the referee stepped in at the 2:36 mark for a TKO finish in this past Saturday’s pay-per-view headliner from Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro.
Despite the bloody outcome, retired UFC champion Miesha Tate believes it still would’ve been a mistake for Pennington’s coaches to let her quit.
“I think that she should’ve had every opportunity to succeed, because she signed up for five rounds,” Tate said during an appearance on MMAjunkie Radio. “And if she wouldn’t have gone out for the fifth round, it would’ve lasted a lifetime for her. It would’ve been a lifetime of regret.
“I know that she’s injured now, and some people are mortified at the idea that she was sent back out there and slaughtered like a little lamb, is kind of what I feel like people are looking at it like. ‘How dare her coach and corner do that. How selfish.’ But realistically I think he was trying to pull the most out of her, which is a coach’s job.”
The decision to let Pennington return after her plea to “be done” in between Rounds 4 and 5 was met with swift criticism from fighters and fans alike. Having some time to reflect, Pennington has come out in favor of her corner’s decision.
Tate’s take on the situation seems to ignore the violent result. The way she sees it, a coach is there to remind a fighter “you got this” and push him/her when it feels like pushing through is impossible. Hindsight isn’t a factor.
“If she had gone out there and finished it or figured it out in that fifth round, she could be a world champion right now,” Tate said. “Why should she rob herself of that opportunity in a moment of weakness?”
To hear more from Tate, check out the video above.
MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Miesha Tate: Raquel Pennington would've felt 'lifetime of regret' for quitting at UFC 224