WARNING: The following video contains graphic images some viewers might find disturbing.
Raquel Pennington’s corner has come under fire for allowing their fighter to be brutalised by Amanda Nunes, despite the American wanting to retire after suffering a broken nose.
Nunes pummelled her outmatched rival for twenty minutes before wrapping up the win to claim the bantamweight title at UFC 224.
But commentators and fans thought the bout was going to end before the fifth round even got underway as a battered, broken and bruised Pennington told her team she was “done” at the end of the fourth.
However, the American’s corner could be heard saying, “change your mindset” and “throw everything you got,” in an apparent refusal to accept that Pennington’s fight was over.
But the challenger didn’t have anything left in the tank and Nunes went in for the kill, pinning Pennington on her back around the 3:00 mark.
Nunes attacked her face again, and blood poured from Pennington’s nose onto the mat before the fight was called for Nunes via TKO at 2:36 in the fifth round.
Angry fans took to social media to question the decision by Pennington’s corner to convince their fighter to continue when she wanted to put a stop to the contest.
They should have never let her go into the 5th round like that.
— Brian Ortega (@BrianTcity) May 13, 2018
Really feel bad for her. They’re meant to save her from punishment like that.. not send her out for more.
— Bec Rawlings (@RowdyBec) May 13, 2018
Shocking behaviour. They should be protecting their fighter. Not forcing her out there.
— Scroobius Pip (@Scroobiuspipyo) May 13, 2018
I can't even begin to fathom how they reasoned their decision to let her continue. They need to be fired ASAP.
— Code-E Mar10 (@IAmXplisit) May 13, 2018
Nunes tripped Pennington up with a leg kick early in the first round and was the aggressor throughout the fight.
She repeatedly followed leg kicks with head blows early on, backing Pennington up to the edge of the Octagon and leaving the outside of her left leg bright purple and red from the repeated strikes.
After a pair of failed attempts while backed against the cage, Pennington scored a takedown of Nunes late in the second round to slow the steady onslaught from the champion.
But Nunes was never in trouble and continued to attack a weary Pennington throughout. Nunes delivered several knees to Pennington’s face in the fourth, leaving her faced bloodied.
Nunes, a Brazil native, invited Pennington to join her for the post-fight interview in the cage and spoke of her respect for her opponent in front of Rio de Janiero’s Jeunesse Arena.
“It was very hard for me this fight,” Nunes said. “It was the most hard of my career to fight this girl. Because we have the respect.
“When it comes to finish this bout, something I’ve dreamed about for so long, I have to do it. But right now. We are friends. We’re going to leave this cage. We’re going to have a beer and celebrate our friendship.”
With Yahoo US