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Bellator 170: Chael Sonnen not retiring after loss to Tito Ortiz- ‘It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon’

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight contender Chael Sonnen returned to action last night (Sat., Jan. 21, 2017) at Bellator 170 in Los Angeles, California after three years away from the fight game.

And his return was not what he had hoped, as Tito Ortiz choked him out in just over two minutes of their headlining act (see it again here). Though "embarrassed" by the defeat, "The American Gangster" isn’t planning on calling it quits anytime soon

"Look, tonight is helpful for me. 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 and I need to get those minutes in. I thought I did it in the practice room, but I did have some deer in the headlights look out there. Tito threw a right hand right down the middle, there was just some positions, it was helpful, I hate to get stuck in those, I hate to lose in competition, but I got to get some minutes in. After three years, that’s just the way it goes. But, I will be in the practice room on Monday and use this to get better."

Sonnen signed a six fight deal with Bellator MMA last year, and by the sounds of it, he is planning on seeing it all the way through. And though he wasn’t trying to promote a potential scrap between he and Wanderlei Silva, Sonnen was asked about the potential matchup.

"Definitely. Look, I don’t want to use this as a platform to get something going with Wanderlei, This is Tito’s night. It’s his birthday, and he retired and he won fair and sqaure. I was completely ready for the contest. I had great coaches, great training and I don’t think I was too small. Tito thinks I was too small, I don’t think so. He got a great position and won the position. As far as Wanderlei goes, yeah, I’m going to fight Wanderlei the enxt time I see him. But, again, I’m the loser tonight and I am not here to promote anything. This is Tito’s night."

Sonnen and Silva have some unfinished business their fight that was planned to take place under the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UC) banner never saw the light of day.

But now that both men are competing under a new promotion’s flag, a bout between them is inevitable.

For complete Bellator 170 results and coverage click here.

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