Tate defends Pennington corner decision
After four rounds of fighting UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes, Raquel Pennington came back to her corner and said, “I’m done.” Her corner apparently talked her into fighting on, and she was stopped in the final round. Pennington’s corner has come under intense criticism for not calling it in between rounds, but the fighter and her fiancee have said they thought it was the right decision to come out for the final round.
And now former division champion Miesha Tate, who has fought both Nunes and Pennington, said on SiriusXM Rush that she, too agrees with the coaches.
“I think that I would’ve done the same thing if I was in her corner’s shoes,” said Tate, as transcribed by Jed Meshew for 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.”
“I think he didn’t want to let her give up on herself in the fifth round. She’s very durable and she’d been doing really well up until that point – not necessarily winning but she wasn’t out of the fight. I think she deserved to not give up on herself, to go out there and try to win that fight. It didn’t work out that way but it could have. She could have gone out there and done something incredible that fifth round and been like, ‘Thank you, coach. You’re a genius for not letting me give up in that fifth round.’
“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… When you’re in those mentally weak spots, that what your coach is there to do. 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.”
“She did get finished but if she really wanted to she could have just said, ‘I’m not gonna go out for the next round.’ I think she was looking for her coach to give her the words of encouragement. ‘I want to be done.’ Yeah, but you’re not. And she got off the stool and went back out for the fifth round. She didn’t have to do that. Nobody tied her hands behind her back and shoved her out there.
“She got the opportunity to win or to lose, to finish or to be finished. She had every opportunity in the book, and I think she’ll be glad that she went out for the fifth round and overcame that mental hurdle of not wanting to. She poured her whole heart out there, and I don’t think she’s going to regret that decision.”