Bellator 170: "Ortiz vs. Sonnen" took place Jan. 21, 2017 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. After a grudge two decades in the making was finally settled, "The Bad Guy" Chael Sonnen tapped out to a rear-naked choke at 2:03 of the first round (watch highlights here). But, if mixed martial arts (MMA) fans know anything about the self-proclaimed "American Gangster," it's that the setback will not mark the end of his story like it did for Ortiz, who officially announced his retirement after Spike TV's main event match (see it here).
Indeed, moments after his loss Sonnen spoke with ESPN -- where he moonlights as an MMA analyst -- in the video above.
"Hey, listen the fight was going okay," Sonnen explained. "Tito threw a straight right down the middle early. I threw a kick, he countered, it connected pretty hard. All of a sudden we end in a grappling contest, I had a submission hold. I thought I had it, I could feel the excitement, I thought he was gonna tap out. Before I knew it, he reversed position, all of a sudden I couldn't breathe, that's the end of the night."
Sonnen vowed this that unlike Ortiz (recap here), this wasn't the end, but rather just the beginning after mounting a comeback after more than three years on the sideline.
"For me this is a long-term play," he said. "This wasn't an overnight plan. I was out three years, I retired, I put in a lot of hard work, but the reality is I knew I had to get in there. I had to get some minutes in the ring, I had to make that walk, knock a little of that rust of. I gotta be back in the gym on Monday. This is a marathon for me -- it's not a sprint."
And not surprisingly "The Bad Boy" of MMA took being humbled by Ortiz a little personally.
"I lost one position tonight," he concluded. "It hurts. It's embarrassing to lose a contest like this, especially to a guy on his way out. You want to win those! You want him to pass the torch then stick around."
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