The former lightweight champion was tuned in to UFC 224 this past weekend when he saw the between-rounds exchange of Pennington and her cornermen that sent the MMA world into a tizzy. UFC cameras caught Pennington telling her head coach Jason Kutz that she was done between the fourth and fifth round in Rio de Janeiro, however Kutz convinced Pennington to answer the bell for the final frame. Less than three minutes later, Pennington lost to Nunes via fifth-round TKO.
Opinions in the ensuing days over Kutzs decision were resoundingly split. Some voices within the MMA community felt like Kutz did a disservice to Pennington by not stopping the fight at her request, while others felt as if Kutz saved Pennington from a lifetime of regret of quitting on the stool during her first title fight. For what its worth, Pennington fell into the latter camp she and her fiancee Tecia Torres both steadfastly defended Kutzs call.
While Alvarez can see both sides of the argument, his own experiences of having to overcome adversity in the heart of a firefight gives him a unique perspective on the discussion. And he can understand exactly why Pennington feels the way she does.
I have conflicting views of the whole thing, Alvarez said Monday on The MMA Hour. My honest opinion is, I was there where she was in a fight before. I was there. I was exactly where she was, where I told my corner, I think Im out of this.
Gilbert Melendez broke my nose and orbital in the first round of the Mexico fight [at UFC 188], and I believe I went back to the stool and I talked to Henri (Hooft), and I didnt say what she said, I wasnt very clear, I was just like, Man, Im messed up. And you could tell my spirit was a bit broken. And Henri brought me back off the ledge and let me know, Hey, were going to deal with this. 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.