At UFC 224 on in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday, Amanda Nunes successfully defended her bantamweight title against Raquel Pennington, stopping Penning with strikes in the fifth round. But while Nunes’ performance was something to appreciate, the biggest story coming out of the fight was the decision of Pennington’s corner to send their fighter back out for the fifth round despite Pennington telling them “I’m done” after the fourth round.
In the immediate aftermath of the event, a number of fighters spoke out against Pennington’s corner not protecting their fighter, with Nunes even saying the corner “failed” Pennington. But not everyone agrees. Chief among the dissenters is a woman who has fought both Nunes and Pennington, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate, who went on SiriusXM Rush after the event, saying that she agreed with the decision to not stop the fight.
“I think that I would’ve done the same thing if I was in her corner’s shoes,” Tate said. “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. 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. She lost, but she went out there. She could have quit at any point if she felt like she couldn’t hang in there. She got finished, and I would have done the same thing.”
The debate in MMA about when a corner should stop a fight has become more prominent in recent years as concerns about sustained head trauma have risen. Unlike in boxing, corners rarely stop fights in MMA, allowing fighters to take extra punishment under the belief in the old adage that “anything can happen” and their fighter could author an epic comeback and enjoy the spoils that come with that. For Pennington, that outcome was not to be as she was mauled in the fifth round, but Tate maintains that the chance was enough to warrant Pennington fighting on.
“I think he didn’t want to let her give up on herself in the fifth round,” Tate said. “She’s very durable and she’d been doing really well up until that point - not necessarily winning but she wasn’t out of the fight. I think she deserved to not give up on herself, to go out there and try to win that fight. It didn’t work out that way but it could have. She could have gone out there and done something incredible that fifth round and been like, ‘Thank you, coach. 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. I think that her coach really wanted to give her the best opportunity and not let her give up on herself...
“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.”
Tate knows a thing or two about battling through hardship. Known as one of the toughest women alive during her career, Tate authored several remarkable comebacks in her time, including her title winning submission of Holly Holm in the fifth round at UFC 196. Tate’s corner didn’t stop that fight and Tate, obviously, has no regrets about it. Similarly, she says that Pennington was the author of her own fate on Saturday night and in the long run will be happy with her corner’s decision.
“She did get finished but if she really wanted to she could have just said, ‘I’m not gonna go out for the next round,’” Tate said. “I think she was looking for her coach to give her the words of encouragement. ‘I want to be done.’ Yeah, but you’re not. And she got off the stool and went back out for the fifth round. She didn’t have to do that. Nobody tied her hands behind her back and shoved her out there.
“She got the opportunity to win or to lose, to finish or to be finished. She had every opportunity in the book, and I think she’ll be glad that she went out for the fifth round and overcame that mental hurdle of not wanting to. She poured her whole heart out there, and I don’t think she’s going to regret that decision.”
224. Check out what happened and who was victorious at UFC 224.
199. Read about all the quick knockouts from Bellator 199.
Poor decisions. Tecia Torres says she and Raquel Pennington agree with corner’s decision.
Hero. Paul Daley boos own fight, criticizes Bellator while being wrestled by Jon Fitch.
Title. Kelvin Gastelum won’t ‘accept any other fight than the title shot.’
Bellator 199 highlights.
Nick being Nick.
Woodley on the GSP stuff.
Aoki getting throttled by Sakurai for trying to troll him.
Double does of TTTHS.
A McGregor MMA appearance.
MMAFighting Post-Fight Show. Immediate reaction to UFC 224 and Bellato 199.
6th Round. Immediate post-fight reaction to UFC 224.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
And if I had wheels, I’d be a wagon.
If Raquel Pennington find something within herself and came out in the 5th round and knocked out Amanda Nunes, we would all be praising her coaching staff today.— Din Thomas (@DinThomas) May 13, 2018
Matt Mitrione sending a message.
Meanwhile in Mexico...@mattmitrione has a message for his #BellatorWGP semifinals opponent, @ryanbader. #Bellator199 pic.twitter.com/Y4M0zW9WIW— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) May 13, 2018
This is MMA. Things don't always go the way you expected. Congratulations to @ryanbader for his big win tonight. He deserves it. Now, this being said, It's now time for me to move to the Middleweight division #KingMoneyweight pic.twitter.com/KY49qbXTub— King Muhammed (@KingMoFH) May 13, 2018
You’re the man Mo, honor to have competed against you the last 18 years and share the cage with you. https://t.co/Wx7gALjaTT— Ryan Bader (@ryanbader) May 13, 2018
Oh no. This is now a virtual certainty.
I’ll be first to welcome trt Belfort back— phil baroni (@philbaroni) May 13, 2018
Curtis vs. Dada, Bellator 225.
lf we can get this right, it would be big. pic.twitter.com/owZehdOgmu— 50cent (@50cent) May 13, 2018
Hopefully the UFC will get in on this.
As we wait here in Denver for Anthony’s recovery a go fund me was started to help with Anthony’s medical bills. All is greatly appreciated. https://t.co/O0qcBpFXfB— Ray Borg (@tazmexufc) May 11, 2018
Weekend violence round up.
What a gorgeous KO by Petchpanomrun. Easy KO of the Year contender. #GLORY53 pic.twitter.com/ptb11A8KZR— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) May 12, 2018
Ayer en la pelea estelar de Collision Fight Ultimate 9 en Uruguay. Jose Trindade noqueo en el 1R con un azote tremendo a Sandro Montegroso. Aca el video completo de la pelea https://t.co/jNE1VKbZ2j pic.twitter.com/OERUNxSpkJ— Barrele la pierna (@Barrelelapierna) May 13, 2018
Check out this gnaaarly rolling thunder KO from Norichika Tsukamoto at the Shinkyokushin Karate 10th World championship. (h/t @Delisketo) pic.twitter.com/FQlMUbzFyJ— Justin Golightly (@SecretMovesMMA) May 12, 2018
Leandro Ataides TKO's Vitaly Bigdash in R3 securing his title shot. Superman punch was the beginning of the end. Hell of a performance. #ONEChampionship pic.twitter.com/SjAZ9xFqov— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) May 12, 2018
HE GOT FROZEN IN SPACE AND TIME! BAH GAWDDD! #ShamrockFC305 (@Shamrock_FC) pic.twitter.com/E0hch5EPji— FloCombat (@FloCombat) May 12, 2018
Ramis Teregulov destroys José Agustin via first round head kick. Battle on Volga 4 pic.twitter.com/XMAg0FgizQ— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) May 11, 2018
Oh my god. Barbara Nalepka KO's Beata Bardziak with an INSANE flying kick at Ladies Fight Night 9. pic.twitter.com/FzNcdGGYIH— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) May 12, 2018
Shooto World SW Championship— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) May 13, 2018
Yosuke Saruta TKOs Itchaku Murata in 3R #AndStill pic.twitter.com/w06pkp9cFN
Marcin Held (23-7) vs. Callan Potter (16-6); ACB 88, June 16.
Alex Caceres (13-11) vs. Martin Bravo (11-1); TUF 27 Finale, Jul 6.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2011: Michael Chandler won the Bellator Season 4 lightweight tournament by winning a unanimous decision over Patricky Freire at Bellator 44.
2016: Stipe Miocic became the UFC heavyweight champion when he knocked out Fabricio Werdum at UFC 198. Also on the card, Cris Cyborg made her UFC debut, stopping Leslie Smith with punches in the first round.
I hope everyone enjoyed the fights this weekend and if you didn’t, I don’t know what more you could ask for. That was an incredible weekend of violence, and we’ve got another one on tap for this weekend so buckle up.
Oh, and also, I don’t know why MMA insists on taking 50 years to relearn the lessons boxing has taught us but fighters are too tough for their own good. We’ve known that forever. “Going out on your shield” is not cool. This isn’t a movie, it’s real life and there are serious consequences. There is no shame in tapping out to a submission so why on God’s green Earth do we feel compelled to send fighters back out to get mauled just to satisfy some infantile obsession with being tough. That’s my two cents.
Happy Monday and see y’all tomorrow.
Should Pennington’s corner have stopped the fight?
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