Bellator 170: Chael Sonnen Comments on End to Tito Ortiz Bout, “I Couldn’t Breathe”
By FCF Staff
Following Chael Sonnen’s much debated and scrutinized submission loss to Tito Ortiz at Bellator 170, “The American Gangster’s” offered his take on what happened during the bout’s final moments.
Ortiz tapped Sonnen out in the first round, with what was called a rear-naked-choke. But, since the January 21st fight, some observers have questioned whether the fight ending technique was a rear-naked-choke or a neck crank. Some have criticized Sonnen for tapping out, and others have even claimed the fight was fixed.
Recently Sonnen appeared on “The Luke Thomas Show“, and the former UFC middleweight contender had this to say about the fight ending choke (quote via MMA Fighting):
“All I can tell you is I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t respect it went on. I thought we were going to get into scramble and I was going to come on top, and I was stuck. It’s really hard to give up your back, ever. You give up your back in the first round before you have that sweat going, man, it’s just a tough spot. And it’s embarrassing, it’s all those different things. But to answer your question head-on, yeah, it was a choke, it was not a crank.”
The 39 year-old, who was fighting for the first time since 2013, also dismissed the idea that he wasn’t trying to escape the choke. Sonnen added that Ortiz “squeezed” the choke better than he defended it.