Amanda Nunes doesn’t believe Raquel Pennington’s corner had their fighter’s best interest in mind.
Last night (May 12), Nunes defended her Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s bantamweight title against “Rocky.” The title fight headlined UFC 224 inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This was “The Lioness'” third title defense.
While Pennington found some success in the second round, that’s where her fortune ran out. Nunes was able to batter the challenger and mangled her nose in the fourth round. By the end of the frame, Pennington told her corner that she was done. Rather than throw in the towel, her corner encouraged “Rocky” to keep fighting. Pennington was finished the following round.
A lot has been made over the decision to allow Pennington to keep fighting. During the post-fight press conference, Nunes gave her reaction to the situation (via MMAFighting.com):
“Everyone must be saying a lot of bad things about them on social media, but I think she really needs to surround herself with people that want the best for her, so she can evolve in her next fights. Unfortunately, tonight he failed.”
With the victory, Nunes has now had three successful title defenses. Her next challenger is a mystery. There’s undefeated 135-pounder Ketlen Vieira, but many question if she’s ready for a title shot. Julianna Pena hasn’t fought since Jan. 2017 and she lost her last bout. Holly Holm is ranked number one despite going 1-4 in her last five outings. Simply put, the women’s bantamweight division isn’t setting the world on fire.
As for Pennington, she sees her four-fight winning streak snapped. This is “Rocky’s” first defeat via technical knockout and just the second time she’s been finished. Time will tell what her future holds.
What do you think of the corner’s decision to allow Raquel Pennington to keep fighting?