Jason Kutz is the lead coach for Raquel Pennington, who sent the fighter out to compete in the fifth round against UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 224, despite the competitor saying “I’m done” before getting sent out.
Pennington recently appeared on The MMA Hour and the fighter says that she is proud of Kutz the rest of the coaching staff.
“I’m actually proud of my coaches,” Pennington said. “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. At the end of the day, my coaches know me 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 can’t handle. I was going through a moment where I was obviously frustrated because of the facts with my legs. 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. Those initial kicks really got me to a point where I started to break for a second, and the minute that I turned around and told my coaches that, and then I actually turned around and looked at my head coach and looked him in the eyes, I knew it still had it within me.”
Kutz has been hearing the criticism surrounding what he allegedly did at UFC 224 and he has decided to speak out as well.
The coach says his personal knowledge of Pennington is what lead him to sending the fighter out on the fifth round.
“In my mind, I had it as more of a mental battle than physical battle for her going into the fifth round,” Kutz told MMA Junkie. “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. It is a fight.”
Nunes wound up picking up a fifth round TKO win over Pennington in that fight, but also blasted the coach for his decisions a short time after the bout.