While it wasn’t the greatest of main event title fights, Amanda Nunes further asserted her dominance in the women’s bantamweight division by scoring a TKO victory over Raquel Pennington in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Rocky, who hadn’t stepped inside of the Octagon to fight in a year and a half, looked out of her depth throughout the contest, with the second round proving to be her most successful in what was a convincing win for The Lioness and her third defence of the championship she choked out Miesha Tate to capture back at UFC 200.
With the fifth-round stoppage, the Brazilian did manage to break a record as she now has seven finishes in the UFC - the most by a female fighter in the organisation’s history by stopping the likes of Ronda Rousey and Valentina Shevchenko.
Despite it being a successful night for Nunes, whose win is arguably going to fuel further talk of a massive Brazilian super fight against Cris Cyborg, it’s Pennington’s cornermen that have stolen the headlines for all of the wrong reasons.
Safety comes first. While a fighter will always give whatever they have left in the tank to go out and not only win a fight, but capture a championship in hostile territory, it’s wise to wave off the fight and pull your fighter out of the Octagon when they admit they are done and can’t go on any further.
It’s even more dangerous when it’s a five round contest. That was the case with Pennington on Saturday night, as she sat in the corner following the fourth round and told her corner that she can’t continue.
Her corner wasn’t having any of it, though. After already drawing criticism at being silent throughout the fight and not giving her any technical advice, with her partner Tecia Torres notably being the most vocal, her cornermen did something unbelievable which has left the MMA community absolutely furious.
Pennington, who had her nose broken, told her corner that she was finished. In the clip below, her cornerman rejected her claims at being done, saying he knows she hurts and stating, ‘We’ll recover later.’
After sending Pennington out for the fifth round, she bled horrifically as Nunes rained down with some massive hits - who later admitted she didn’t enjoy fighting a friend - until the referee finally waved the fight off.
In a sport already deemed dangerous, it’s clear to see why the reactions below are all saying the same thing and blasting the cornermen for their horrible advice by putting their fighter in additional danger.
With such an outpour of support for Pennington and criticism aimed at her cornermen for saying they’ll recover later, when she’s the one inside the Octagon, some form of action needs to be taken as Pennington deserves a lot better than this.
What do you make of Raquel Pennington’s corner sending her out to fight despite not wanting to head into the fifth round? Have YOUR say in the comments section below.