Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes, retained her 135-poud title with a fifth-round technical knockout win over Raquel Pennington in the UFC 224 pay-per-view (PPV) main event last night (Sat., May 12, 2018) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (watch video highlights here).
Judging by what the mics picked up in between rounds, it was clearly over in the fourth frame, as Pennington told her corner “I’m done.” That didn’t stop them from sending her back into the cage because hey, this is mixed martial arts (MMA) and you have to go out on your shield. Which in Bro-man’s terms means JUST BLEED.
I’m not sure what the purpose of a corner is, but from my rudimentary understanding, they shout instructions and help fighters capitalize on openings both offensively and defensively, in that rah-rah-go-team-go sort of way, while also providing constructive criticism in between rounds.
There’s also that little white towel in case a fighter starts to look Apollo Creed’ish inside the cage — a la Rocky IV — but corners can also leave a fighter on their stool if they choose not to answer the bell, thus ending the contest by way of TKO. Unless you’re Yoel Romero, of course, and just need a few extra minutes to catch your breath.
I’m sure a lot of fighters have thought about calling it quits in between rounds and no coach worth his (or her) salt is going to just say “Hey, maybe you’re right, let’s call it a day.” Getting beat up is not fun and sometimes you need a little kick in the pants to get back out there for another crack at victory.
But, there’s a flip side to that coin. Sending a fighter into battle when they are not fully committed puts them in mortal danger, especially against a power-punching savage like Nunes. A fighter needs to be mentally and physically sharp and allowing anything less for the sake of pride of public image — or whatever the hell this was — has the potential to end in disaster. Besides, that’s what we have this guy for.
Pennington is about as tough as they come and she’s been inside the cage with some of the best the division has to offer. She’s proved her grit and when someone with the tenacity of “Rocky” says “I’m done” there is probably a good reason. No doubt her corner knows her better than any of us, but I’ve always been a fan of the “live to fight another day” attitude.
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