Amanda Nunes retained her Batemweight title at UFC 224 on Saturday night, pummelling challenger Raquel Pennington, who appeared ready to call it quits after losing the first four rounds. Following the conclusion of round 4, Pennington was captured on audio telling her corner, “I’m done. I want to be done.”
But instead of throwing in the towel, Pennington’s cornerman Jason Kutz ignored her plea to end the fight. “No, no, no, no,” Kutz responded to Pennington. “I know it hurts. Let’s power through this. Let’s power through this, let’s believe. Change your mindset. Change your mindset. Let’s throw everything we got. We’ll recover later … Throw everything we got.”
Pennington, who had been beaten to a pulp up until that point, went out for the fifth round but was quickly bloodied by Nunes who picked up the TKO victory. The time of the stoppage was 2:36 of the fifth round.
After the victory, Nunes was told about Pennington’s request to end the match following the fourth round.
“It’s sad,” Nunes said at the post-fight news conference, MMAJunkie. “(My girlfriend) Nina (Ansaroff) told me. I didn’t even know. Nina told me in the locker room. It’s sad because you could avoid something. She went to the hospital. It might be a bad injury for her to go to the hospital. I already asked Nina to text her — if she needs anything, I’m here. It’s sad.
“If she didn’t have the right conditioning to fight, then the coach should have thrown in the towel for sure. I think my coach wouldn’t let me go through that. It’s sad. Everyone must be saying a lot of bad things about him on social media, but I really think she needs to surround herself with people who want the best for her so she can really evolve for her next fights.
“Unfortunately, tonight (the cornerman) failed.”
Pennington’s fiance, UFC strawweight Tecia Torres, took to instagram after the fight to say that both she and Raquel agreed with the decision to continue the fight, despite the gruesome outcome. “Both us and our coaches agree with the decision made to go into the 5th round. We know Raquel more than anyone else and know if we let her give up on herself going into the last round she would have always regretted it. She fought with heart and grit until the end.”