Raquel Pennington Breaks Her Silence On Coach’s Decision To Not Stop The Fight

During Saturday’s UFC 224 main event, Raquel Pennington’s coaching staff made a tough decision in between the 4th and 5th rounds.

In that 60 second snap shot in time, Pennington walked back to her corner and told her team that she was done, and wanted out of the fight. Then, controversially her coach didn’t let her give up, and made her go back out in the 5th round.

Pennington would get stopped shortly after, and it’s been a controversial topic of discussion ever since.

Now, for the first time, Pennington breaks her silence on the subject, and she backs her coaches’ decision to not give up.

Here’s what she said: (via the MMA Hour)

“I’m actually proud of my coaches. I know a lot of people are going against what they said, and thinking all this different stuff. And it’s easy to judge. But, you never know what’s happening in that moment. And at the end of the day, my coaches know my best. They know my toughness and they know what I can handle. And I trust my coaches with everything that I have and I know they wouldn’t put me in a situation that I couldn’t handle.”

“I was going through a moment where I was obviously frustrated because of the fact with my leg.”

“I was scared to step in and actually let my hands go, because the minute I would start to close the distance Amanda would attack the leg. So it was easier for me to stay on the outside to evade any leg kicks to try and avoid that pain, and it was easier for me to stay against the cage, where I had some back support to where I could constantly lift my leg.”

“In other fights I’ve done so much conditioning in practice, where those things don’t phase me. But, those initial kicks really got me to a point where I started to break for a second. And the minute I looked around and told my coaches that [I wanted the fight stopped], and then looked at my head coach and looked him in the eye. I knew I still had it within me. But there just comes a point where you just make a decision.”

“I agreed with my coaches as soon as the fight was done. I agreed with them in that moment, because at the end of the day the ball is in my court. I could have easily waived off the fight. I could have easily sat down and tapped out. But, I chose not to. I chose to pull my head out of my ass basically, and not give up on myself. Because at the end of the day would you give up? It’s a whole different ball game there. Quitting is not an option, in that aspect.”

“In that moment I was quitting on myself, and that’s when a coach steps in and they push their athlete.”

“I would have been mad [if they did stop the fight]. And I would have been more mad at myself. So, I’m glad my coaches didn’t let me give up on myself.”