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UFC 224, The Morning After: Fighters debate Pennington’s corner failure

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What you may have missed from last night ...

Last night was an extraordinary night of combat sports by any standard. Vasyl Lomachenko became the youngest ever three-weight champion in boxing thanks to a killer liver KO; UFC 224 equaled the record for most finishes ever on a UFC event (11), including a wheel kick, a throwback Machida front kick KO, a vintage John Lineker KO over Brian Kelleher after a ferocious fight, the second-ever UFC Ezekiel choke by Aleksei Oliynyk (the first also being by Aleksei Oliynyk), and Amanda Nunes’ finish over Raquel “Rocky” Pennington.

The last finish was the source of some controversy, as Pennington’s corner sent her back out for the fifth round after “Rocky” was telling them she was done. As a result, she took a lot of unnecessary damage before the stoppage, something that had professional fighters divided in how they responded.

Many fighters (including Amanda Nunes) were in agreement with the chorus of consensus that Pennington’s corner let her down by not throwing in the towel.

However, there were several (including fellow American Top Team member Will Brooks) who weren’t in that camp. Brooks maintained that people don’t understand the decisions handler’s make because they don’t understand the psyche of a fighter.

That said, a lot of fighters were of the opinion that it wasn’t okay for Pennington to be sent out to get slaughtered like that.

Former UFC champion Tim Sylvia had one of the harshest takes, saying Pennington shouldn’t even be a fighter (nor should anyone who quits between rounds).

Violent Bob Ross, who competed on the current season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), split the difference saying sometimes you need the corner that will push you past self-doubt.

But, many were pointed to Trevor Whittman, who is the very rare mixed martial arts (MMA) corner who did stop the bout the moment his fighter Nate Marquardt had had enough.

While it certainly helps to have a corner to push you past your limits, it doesn’t seem controversial to conclude that your corner should also be looking out for your safety in the cage. Until MMA corners learn that sometimes it’s okay to let the second outweigh the first, the beatings will continue.


Sunday Funday

Cub Swanson’s a dad now and he is coming in strong with the appropriate jokes for the role.

Speaking of dads, I didn’t realize “Big” John McCarthy’s son, Little John* McCarthy, judges MMA fights.

*Not his name

This doesn’t even look real.

“King Mo” has decided the time has come for him to move to Middleweight after Bader’s quick win.

On a night of liver shots this was Bas Rutten’s highlight.

Machida’s front kick was an incredibly unique historical mirror both because his teammate Anderson had done it before to Vitor, and because this is the second time Machida has followed Anderson’s path by retiring a legend with a front kick knockout, the first being his switch kick against Randy Couture.

John Lineker got a variety of responses from other UFC Bantamweight fighters after his awe-inspiring knockout of iron-chinned Brian Kelleher.

One can only dream.

Meanwhile, Paul Daley was booing his own fight in Bellator.


Slips, Rips, KO Clips

This ring contained the most pugilistic skill on display all year. Credit to Jorge Linares for knocking him down, but Vasyl Lomachenko is the master.

We are spoiled in this era for quality MMA, but it’s not every day you see a wheel kick knockout, so let’s appreciate it.

Aaron Pico got another body shot finish -- this is becoming his thing.

Gaston Bolanos brought his leg kicks with him on the Bellator 199 “Prelims” undercard:

Mackenzie Dern not even bothering to cut weight certainly didn’t HURT her against Amanda Cooper.

John Lineker is an anomaly.

Aleksei Oleinik hit this Ezekiel choke from the bottom, which is just ... unprecedented.

Then there was this ...

... and this leaping head kick KO


Random Land

This fox is diving for mice in the snow like he always does

Amazing fox ❤️ From @juniperfoxx #WildGlobe

A post shared by Wildglobe (@wildglobe) on

I’m mad how well this goes:

Enjoy your Sunday, Maniacs!