Amanda Nunes thinks Raquel Pennington’s cornermen did her no favors at UFC 224.
On Saturday UFC Bantamweight contender Raquel Pennington lost in a brutal fifth round stoppage to the champion Amanda Nunes. Between the fourth and fifth rounds, Raquel told her corner that she was “done,” but they implored her to continue fighting.
Although Raquel has since come out in defense of her corner, many MMA fans are disgusted with what could be seen as a selfish act: Raquel had too much pride to tell the referee she was done. She asked her corner to stop the fight and they sent her out to take more damage and get stopped.
Monday on the MMA Hour, Nunes was among those who criticized the cornermen.
“Everyone must be saying a lot of bad things about them on social media, but I think she really needs to surround herself with people that want the best for her, so she can evolve in her next fights. Unfortunately, tonight he failed.
“It’s sad, because you could avoid something. She went to the hospital. It might be a bad injury for her to go to the hospital. I already asked Nina to text her to find out if she needs anything, I’m here. And it’s sad. If she didn’t have the right conditioning to fight, then the coach should have thrown in the towel, for sure. I think my coach wouldn’t let me go through that.”
Pennington was coming off a layoff due to leg injury. In the first round, Amanda brutally punished Pennington’s leg to visible physical and psychological effect. From there it was all downhill, with Amanda staying safe and inflicting steady punishment on Pennington. She said this fight was difficult because she did not genuinely want to hurt Pennington.
“I never fight with somebody that’s a friend. This is the first time ever. I respect those girls so much… It was the most hard of my career to fight this girl, because we have that respect. I like those girls so much and it was hard for me.
“But I wanted to win and defend this belt, something I dreamed about for so long. I have to do it. But right now, we are friends. We’re gonna leave this cage, we’re gonna have a beer in celebration of our friendship. Tonight was my belt, but the first thing was the respect and the friendship we have.”