Raquel Penningon ’s head coach regrets nothing about the words he used with the UFC women’s bantamweight title challenger this past Saturday at UFC 224. The coach, Jason Kutz, said he knew Pennington (9-6 MMA, 6-3 UFC) well enough to know she didn’t truly want out of a fight against champ Amanda Nunes (16-4 MMA, 9-1 UFC), as she told him between the fourth and fifth round of the fight. If they were in the same position today, Kutz said he would tell Pennington the same thing. “In my mind, I had it as more of a mental battle than physical battle for her going into the fifth round,” Kutz, a former Division-I wrestling coach at Lee High University and East Stroudsburg University, today told MMAjunkie after his between-round speech to Pennington touched off a firestorm of criticism. “And knowing her and coaching her for years, and knowing what she’s capable of, I felt if she flipped the script and did a 180 in her own mind, and just went for it, hey, you never know.

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