You can add Amanda Nunes to the long list of people unimpressed with Raquel Pennington’s corner following their UFC 224 title match. Nunes battered Pennington mercilessly throughout the fight and appeared to break her opponent’s nose late in the fourth round.
When Pennington returned to her corner, she told her coach “I’m done, I want to be done.” But instead of throwing in the towel, her coach pushed her to finish the fight (watch the moment here).
”I know it hurts,” he said. “Let’s power through this. Let’s power through this, let’s believe. Alright? Change your mindset. Change your mindset. Let’s just throw everything we got. All right? We’ll recover later.”
Pennington would indeed answer the bell for the fifth round, only to end up finished on the canvas with her nose gushing blood 2:26 in. She was rushed to the hospital immediately afterwards.
”It’s sad,” Amanda Nunes said through a translator at the UFC 224 post-fight press conference. “I didn’t even know, Nina [Ansaroff, Nunes’ partner] told me in the locker room. It’s sad because she could have avoided that end. It could be a bad injury because she ended up in the hospital. I asked Nina to text her and find out if she needed anything, I’m here. It’s sad.”
”If she wasn’t in a condition to fight, then the coach should have thrown in the towel, for sure. I think my coach wouldn’t let me go through that.”
Nunes had extra reason to be concerned for her opponent’s well being: Pennington’s fiance Tecia Torres was a longtime training partner at American Top Team.
”It was the hardest fight of my career to fight this girl, because we have that respect. I like those girls so much, so it was hard for me. But I wanted to win and defend this belt, it’s something I’ve dreamed about for so long, I have to do it. But we are friends. We’re gonna leave this cage, we’re gonna have a beer in celebration of our friendship. Tonight was about my belt, but the first thing was the respect and the friendship we have.”