Raquel Pennington's Coach Defends Sending Out for Fifth Round

Pennington-Nunes-Getty-FTR-051418

Pennington-Nunes-Getty-FTR-051418

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.

If they were in the same position today, Kutz said he would tell Pennington the same thing. C'mon, girl. I know it hurts.

Pennington lost the fight. but says she kept her honor. "I know a lot of people are going against what they said and thinking all this different stuff, and it's easy to judge, but you never know what's happening in that moment". Me and my head coach, we had a talk and he's like, "You know I have your best interest at heart". "I'm not regretting that decision at all".

Although Raquel has since come out in defense of her corner, many MMA fans are disgusted with what could be seen as a selfish act: Raquel had too much pride to tell the referee she was done.

This is what Miesha Tate was alluding to when she said Pennington was given the chance to 'lose with dignity'.

Publicly, at least, Pennington is backing her coaches.

Pennington also revealed on the MMA Hour that her coaches are "struggling" to handle the fallout from UFC 224's controversy.

Pennington's corner has been under fire for not throwing in the towel when she told them she had nothing left after the 4th round of her fight with Amanda Nunes. Pennington took on Amanda Nunes on Saturday night at UFC 224 in Rio de Janeiro, where "Rocky" suffered a fifth-round TKO defeat. "It was tough, and I feel like she battled her ass off for 20 minutes". He wanted her to rob Nunes of space so she could use her boxing technique.

On criticism of the corner's decision to send her back out for round five: "I think that I would've done the same thing if I was in her corner's shoes". "Everybody needs to relax", Pennington said. "I agreed with my coaches as soon as the fight was done", she told host Ariel Helwani, who was among those who had criticized them. That "terrifying feeling", which made her "want to throw up", only grew over the first four rounds, and it led to her saying she was "done" before the fifth round. I think that her coach really wanted to give her the best opportunity and not let her give up on herself...

Although it was clear to Kutz that Pennington was trying to pull off the equivalent of a hail Mary in the final round of the fight, he also felt the alternative was worse. And I know that had she stopped [the fight] right then and there, and I've talked to her about this afterward - like, 'Hey, in 10 years when you look back at this, I think you'd be kicking yourself in the trousers had you not gone out there'. I was going through a moment where I was obviously frustrated because of the facts with my legs.

"And now, she doesn't have to do that in 10 years". She admitted that she would have been mad if the fight had been conceded on the stool. "What more as an athlete, what more as a coach, can somebody ask?" Instead, she "knows", Kutz said, which is "huge" for her. "But she gave her best effort that she could possibly give on that day, under those circumstances".