“Do you think it would have been different if it was two male fighters? I think so.
One, I believe that…had her team let her out, she would have regretted it the rest of her life. The failure didn’t happen by her team there between the fourth and the fifth round, it happened in preparation getting her ready for that. ‘Cause I think…that those words would never be uttered out of my mouth in the middle of a fight. It would be my team begging and pleading for them to end the fight.
I don’t know if there was a route for her to win that fight, if there was a path to victory for her, I don’t think there was. I think she felt that. But I think the journalists, the MMA media attacked her coaches unfairly. One, because she’s a girl. I think that played a part in it. Everybody’s like, ‘oh my gosh, this girl fighter in between four and five,’ she’s just a fighter first of all. And her coaches know her better than anybody.
I’m not defending what they did or attacking them. What I’m saying is, you’re not on either side of that fence. And you’ve never had your feet on that canvas and felt the fury and pain of defeat and the sweetness of success. The worst thing ever is regret.”
Few former professional mixed martial artists are quite as unique as Tim Kennedy. The former Green Beret sniper turned Strikeforce and UFC veteran has been retired since January 2017 and when watching this past Saturday’s UFC 224 couldn’t fathom wanting out of a fight like Raquel Pennington claimed she did between the fourth and fifth rounds of her title fight with Amanda Nunes.
“If I told my coaches I wanted out and they let me out, I would hate them forever.” Kennedy continued, “I would regret my decision and be mad at them forever. And they’re some of my best friends now.”
Kennedy finished his career with an 18-6 record with 8 wins by submission and 6 by knockout. He holds notable wins over the likes of Melvin Manhoef, Rafael Natal, Roger Gracie, Trevor Smith, Zak Cummings, Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller, Hector Urbina, Trevor Prangley and former UFC champions, Robbie Lawler and Michael Bisping.
Since UFC 224, Pennington has said that she agrees with her coaches decisions to keep her out in the fight despite saying she was done between the championship rounds.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/18/2018.