Bellator 170: Chael Sonnen Reflects on Defeat, Says Time Away Was Factor
By FCF Staff
Chael Sonnen was the betting lines favorite heading into his bout last night with Tito Ortiz, but the latter’s top game ended up ruling the day.
Ortiz and Sonnen battled in what was the main event of Bellator 170, and it marked the first time the latter had fought since 2013. Ortiz took Sonnen down not long into the fight, and after defending a guillotine choke attempt, eventually worked his way into a fight ending, rear-naked-choke.
Sonnen attended the post-fight press conference, and here is some of what the former UFC middleweight contender had to say about the defeat (quote via MMA Fighting):
“…I’ve been out for three years, and this was a long-term play for me. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. I need to get those minutes in. I thought I did it in the practice room, and I had some deer in the headlights (moments) out there.”
“…I would say the first four or five months of retirement, I wasn’t (training),” Sonnen said, while reflecting on his brief retirement. “I really thought, you know, I think I’m done, I think my race is ran. And I changed my mind, but that was a long time ago. I’ve had years; years and years. But the speed is different. The speed is different when you’re sparring as opposed to going live. And that’s just a reality. I knew I needed to get some minutes in. I thought I was going to have good minutes tonight. I thought I could beat Tito. I thought I had good positions on him and he had a good position on me, and I accept the result. It was a fair contest.”
Sonnen also relayed in the presser that he plans to fight Wanderlei Silva next, but stopped short of promoting the bout full out, since “this is Tito’s night.” Ortiz announced leading up to Bellator 170 that the Sonnen bout would be his last.