UFC 224 main event featured a bantamweight title fight as dominant champion Amanda ‘the Lioness’ Nunes defended her title for the third time against challenger Raquel ‘Rocky’ Pennington.
Nunes entered the octagon as a 10-1 favourite. Within few seconds it was evident that she was proving the odd makers right. Nunes landed the first strike of the fight within few seconds in the form of a leg kick which toppled Pennington. Since then it was Nunes domination, Pennington managed to get few takedowns here and there.
In the third round, Pennington ate a huge knee from Nunes which damaged here nose seriously. After the round, Pennington went to her corner and specifically said ‘I’m done’, but her coaches told her continue rather than throwing in the towel.
In the beginning of the round, Nunes acquired Pennington’s back and unleashed a barrage of punches and elbows leaving Pennington bathing in her own blood and the fight being stopped. (via Twitter):
Corner: "No, no, no, no."
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) May 13, 2018
Nunes, humble in her victory, was not happy with Pennington’s coaches.
It’s sad. I didn’t even know, Nina [Ansaroff] told me in the locker room. It’s sad because you could avoid something. She went to the hospital and it might be a bad injury for her to go to the hospital,” Nunes said at the UFC 224 post fight press conference. “I already asked Nina to text her and find out if she needs anything, I’m here. It’s sad. If she didn’t have right conditioning to fight, then the coach should have thrown in the towel for sure. I think my coach wouldn’t let me go through that.
“I think she really needs to surround herself with the people who want the best for her so she can evolve in her next fights. Unfortunately tonight he failed.”
“It’s very sad. He should have listened to her at that moment,” Nunes said. “It’s important to have that friendship with your coach and for the coach to understand the athlete. I think that’s why I bond so well with my coaches and it’s working out. I hope right now going forward, she can be with people that really understand, people that are with her 100-percent.”
UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley came forward agreeing with Nunes.
I’m not going to give the benefit of the doubt,” Woodley said about Pennington’s coaches. “If your fighter says ‘I want to be done’, then she wants to be done. Allow her to say, hey fight’s over with, take no more damage. Yes, we want to see a great fight, we love to see blood and back and forth wars and yeah she could have came back with a KO punch and won the fight.
“But she stated ‘I want to be done’. That’s her preference. Allow her to have that. The fight should have been done at the end of fourth round.”