On Saturday night, in the main event of the action-packed UFC 224 card in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Raquel Pennington came up short in a women’s bantamweight title fight with champ Amanda Nunes, succumbing to a volley of fifth-round strikes. Unfortunately, Pennington’s title bid was also steeped in controversy, as her corner seemed to force her of the stool after she told them she was “done” between the fourth and fifth rounds.
In the wake of UFC 224, fans, pundits and Pennington’s fellow fighters have been divided on whether or not her corner made the right call. Some sympathize with her corner, while others feels they did her a major disservice by encouraging her to return to action in the fifth.
One of the more interesting takes to emerge on this unfortunate controversy comes from veteran referee and current Bellator MMA color commentator “Big” John McCarthy. While McCarthy understands that, in some situations, it’s the corners job to motivate a frustrated fighter to get off the stool, it’s also their responsibility to end things when a fighter says they’re done. In this particular situation, he believes the latter is true.
Here’s what John McCarthy had to say about Raquel Pennington’s corner:
A corners job is to be support for their fighter. That means you give advise on how to combat your opponent. Sometimes that means you give motivation & sometimes it means you take personal responsibility for their health & safety. When they say that’s it, It’s over, get them out https://t.co/FDsLiQLaLQ
— Big John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) May 14, 2018
“A corners job is to be support for their fighter,” McCarthy said in a Sunday night Tweet, responding to a fan who asked him about Pennington’s corner controversy. “That means you give advise on how to combat your opponent. Sometimes that means you give motivation & sometimes it means you take personal responsibility for their health & safety. When they say that’s it, it’s over, get them out.”
What do you think of Raquel Pennington’s corner’s controversial choice to let her continue fighting? Should they have thrown in the towel when she said she was done? Join the debate in the comments section below!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/11/2018.