One of the more notable occurrences at UFC 224 on Saturday night happened between the fourth and fifth rounds of the main event fight between Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington. Despite Pennington’s own statement of being “done” with the fight, her corner urged her to carry on with the final round.
This incident has garnered mixed reactions from observers. For Nunes, Pennington’s corner should have thrown in the towel and not let her take any further damage. Rocky’s TUF 18 coach Miesha Tate, on the other hand, holds the opposite belief.
“I think that I would’ve done the same thing if I was in her corner’s shoes,” Tate recently said on SiriusXM Rush (transcript via MMA Fighting). “It’s important that a fighter loses with dignity, and I think that Raquel lost with dignity. She went out there and she got finished. She went out on her shield.”
“I would have done the same thing because sometimes when you’re tired and you don’t think you have enough left, your coach’s job is to pull the most out of you and I think that’s what the corner was trying to do – not let her give up on herself, get her back in the game mentally.”
“She lost, but she went out there. She could have quit at any point if she felt like she couldn’t hang in there. She got finished, and I would have done the same thing.”
For Tate, Pennington’s coaches were simply doing their job in lifting their fighter up in those crucial moments when she already wanted to give up and let her opportunity go.
“You always have a little bit more in the gas tank when you feel like you’re done. I think that her coach really wanted to give her the best opportunity and not let her give up on herself,” Tate said.
“When you’re in those mentally weak spots, that what your coach is there to do,” she added. “Your coach is there to say, “No, no, no. Don’t give up on yourself. You made it this far. You’ve got one more round. Five more minutes for the rest of your life. I’m not going to let you quit.’ That’s the coach’s job and I think that he made the right decision.”
Pennington ended up being further beaten and bloodied up in the fifth round, which led the referee to step in and stop the action at the 2:36 mark.