Monday 21 January 2019

Watch: Huge controversy at UFC 224 after Raquel Pennington's corner ignore her pleas to stop the fight before TKO

Mícheál Ó Scannáil

Amanda Nunes retained her bantamweight title by TKO last night after Raquel Pennington’s request for her corner to end the fight was refused.

Amanda Nunes retained her bantamweight title by TKO last night after Raquel Pennington’s request for her corner to end the fight was refused.

In Rio last night, UFC 224 headline fight saw Nunes (16-4-0) defend her title as Pennington (9-7-0) sought to continue a four fight winning streak.

The difference in class was evidence as Nunes dominated from the beginning, landing far more significant strikes and allowing Pennington only five second of recorded control on the canvas.

By the end of the third round Pennington's left eye appeared swollen and she struggled to create any real threat for Nunes. Powerful strikes from Nunes in the fourth left Pennington worse for wear at the break. A Nunes knee appeared to break Pennington’s nose and with the result looking like a foregone conclusion, she told her corner that she had had enough.

“I’m done, I’m done,” she said.

“I wanna be done.”

Her corner refused her request to throw in the towel replying, “no no no no no no no!”

“I know, I know, now come on come on girl,” her corner man said.

“I know it hurts, I know it hurts. Let’s power through this, let’s believe! Change your mindset!

“Lets just throw everything we got, we’ll recover later okay, we’ll recover later throw everything we got!”

Pennington took her corner’s advice and came out in the fifth round looking to attack but Nunes superiority continued. When the American fighter approached Nunes, the Brazilian countered and took the fight to the octagon floor where she unleashed a barrage of ‘ground-and-pound’ strikes covering the canvas in blood.

Finally after 2 minutes 36 seconds in the final round referee Marc Goddard put an end to Pennington's suffering and gave Nunes a victory by TKO.

There have been at least 13 death of fighters either competing in or preparing for MMA fights since 2007 and the barbarity of the sport is often condemned. Amanda Nunes was shocked when she learned after the fight that her opponent wanted to throw in the towel.

Speaking at a post-fight press conference, Nunes criticised Pennington’s corner.

“If she didn’t have the right conditioning to fight then the coach should have thrown in the towel for sure,” she said.

“I think my coach wouldn’t let me go through that. 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 (her corner man) failed.”

Nunes offered Pennington support and pointed out that the fighter, who is known for her resilience, wouldn’t have wanted the fight to end if a stop wasn’t necessary.

“It’s sad,” she said.

“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.”

“If she needs anything, I’m here.”

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