It has been a week since UFC 224, but the controversy during the final moments of the fight still lingers. Raquel Pennington declared that she was “done” after a four-round beating from Amanda Nunes, but her coach urged her to continue.
Former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez gave his take on the matter, having gone through a similar ordeal at UFC 188 almost three years ago against Gilbert Melendez in Mexico City. With both his nose and orbital bone broken during the fight, he approached his corner expressing major concern for his situation at the time.
“Henri Hooft brought me back off the ledge and let me know, ‘Hey, we’re going to deal with this,’” Alvarez recalled during Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting). “And I came back and I won the fight, and I kind of owed that to Henri Hooft, who brought me back to the fight. If it was just myself negotiating with myself in my own mind, my spirit was low.”
“A corner’s job is to protect the fighter, but a corner’s job is also — they’re like the pit stop,” Alvarez continued. “Like, when a car’s doing Indy 500, the car’s going to be worn down, the car’s going to be messed up, sh-t is going to break, sh-t is going to fly off. It’s those guys’ jobs at the pit stop to revive that car, to revive the spirit of that car and send it back out there on the road — but at all costs, send it back on the road.
“So it’s a double-edged sword,” he continued. “I think there’s not one answer to that question. The better the corner knows the fighter; the better decision the corner can make to that fighter. But that relationship between the fighter and the corner, there’s no one answer for what you’re saying.”
For Alvarez, it was more of a personal matter between Pennington and her coaches, and no one else is in the right position to make an accurate judgment.
“The relationship between the corner and the fighter, that’s what’s going to determine whether that person’s sent back out there or not,” Alvarez said. “And that’s something that’s only between them two. Nobody else can judge it.”
The coach in question, Jason Kutz, already broke his silence about the incident, stating it was a decision that he does not regret at all.