Tito Ortiz has retired, ostensibly for good this time. The MMA Pioneer and former UFC champion got to go out on a win, too. Chael Sonnen was once again proven to be more talk than action, succombing to a choke in the first round- though, characteristically, not without controversy. (Bellator 170 full results and play-by-play here, highlights and GIFs here, post-fight press conference here)
Tito Ortiz def Chael Sonnen via RNC #Bellator170 pic.twitter.com/eo96s90MnK— Fancy Combat (@FancyCombat) January 22, 2017
Thank you Fans! #FinalFight @BellatorMMA @Spike @Viacom #MMA @Punishment99 1-21-17— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) January 22, 2017
And the evening ends with @titoortiz driving out of @theforum in his Rolls Royce. pic.twitter.com/6M6cgzxpE2— Josh Gross (@yay_yee) January 22, 2017
Thank you @titoortiz for everything you've done for the sport of Mixed Martial Arts #Legend #Bellator170 pic.twitter.com/6ArjJVkaqN— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) January 22, 2017
January 22, 2017
Tito has had a long, legendary career.
To the best of my knowledge this isn't photoshopped. pic.twitter.com/VtY3jVBH4c— America Is Crumbling (@MisterMyers777) January 22, 2017
I know we all made fun of you an awful lot, and we thank you for the chance. You were one of the most entertaining fighters on the night. pic.twitter.com/qZMzFLMBXt— Jordan Breen (@jordanbreen) January 22, 2017
He was thanked by a host of fighters, and even Hulk Hogan gave him his due.
Congrats @titoortiz ,great victory,I still want to see u beat his ass real bad brother only love4U. HH— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) January 22, 2017
Congratulations @titoortiz. You're a champion. What a great way to round out your career. Continued success. God bless @DesWoodruff— KEN SHAMROCK (@ShamrockKen) January 22, 2017
The feeling is mutual.
.@titoortiz thanks the fans who've supported through his 20 year career. #Bellator170 pic.twitter.com/XqOqRWWZND— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) January 22, 2017
The referee did have to peel Tito off Sonnen, though. I guess all that trash talk really got to him.
Tito held on to that choke way too long #Bellator170 pic.twitter.com/UrRlSqShh9— Fancy Combat (@FancyCombat) January 22, 2017
Tito: I did hold on to the choke longer than I should, and I did it because I had ill will. I apologized to the commission.— Steven Marrocco (@MMAjunkieSteven) January 22, 2017
The real controversy, however, is that many thought Tito actually tapped to a Sonnen guillotine, and the fight was fixed.
Was Sonnen vs Ortiz fixed?— Flyin' Brian J (@FlyinBrianJ) January 22, 2017
Many felt the final tap was suspect as well.
"I call bullshit bro, I seen hundreds of chokes bro and no way a man taps out there. 100% a fix bro"— MMA Bible (@TheMMABible) January 22, 2017
It wasn’t just the fans who said it though. Fighters and analysts voiced the idea as well
It was obviously a worked fight. O'doyle rules. That is all.— Big Ben Rothwell (@RothwellFighter) January 22, 2017
If Chael were calling that fight instead of participating, I think he would call that a work. Odd performance from Sonnen.— Connor Ruebusch (@BoxingBusch) January 22, 2017
Look, I ain't trying to be that guy, but Tito wasn't under the chin and he was off to the side.— Jed Meshew, Esq. (@JedKMeshew) January 22, 2017
Was the fight a work? It seems incredibly unlikely, if only because Sonnen is the new talent (on the mic anyway) for Bellator, and Ortiz is the guy retiring. For Bellator, it doesn’t make sense to have your new signing lose to a retiree. Moreover, Sonnen has a history of tapping to surprising submissions, and Ortiz is a very good grappler. For many fans, though, the questions will remain.
The Best of the Rest
There was an important announcement made- but not the one people were hoping for. The return of Rampage was announced to be Rampage vs. King Mo 2- an announcement that had many groaning, since this is a matchup that wasn’t particularly thrilling the first time.
The Rematch! @Rampage4real vs @KingMoFH!! #Bellator175 March 31st live & Free on @Spike pic.twitter.com/MRhJWyPWwP— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) January 22, 2017
What was thrilling was Paul Daley’s win over Brennan Ward.
Crazy Paul Daley KO pic.twitter.com/Tqo8aaMurz— MMA Roasted (@MMARoasted) January 22, 2017
#PaulDaley just sent a message to @rory_macdonald! #Bellator170 now on @spike! pic.twitter.com/X7S6z94V9v— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) January 22, 2017
It was a brutal knockout
Paul Daley def Brennan Ward via KO #Bellator170 Multiple Angles pic.twitter.com/DYHhapR6yS— Fancy Combat (@FancyCombat) January 22, 2017
It's been announced that Brennan Ward is responsive and headed to the hospital for observation. Well done by Bellator to inform the crowd.— Josh Gross (@yay_yee) January 22, 2017
Every fight has a winner and a loser- in some cases, this is more pronounced than others
This is basically a perfect night for Semtex. KO of the year contender then calls out Rory MacDonald. The crowd seemed to be into the idea.— Josh Gross (@yay_yee) January 22, 2017
Rory was quick to respond
when #pauldaley says he will ko rory macdonald inside a @BellatorMMA cage https://t.co/gc5jEaiWx0— Rory MacDonald (@rory_macdonald) January 22, 2017
Bellator saved a seat for Meryl Streep, who I’m sure seriously considered coming.
Bellator has left a cageside seat for Meryl Streep. pic.twitter.com/oaKEJXe3N1— Dave Doyle (@davedoylemma) January 22, 2017
One can only imagine her reactions
Meryl Streep after Daley's flying knee. #bellator #bellator170 pic.twitter.com/i5WtIaAfUp— Jed I. Goodman (@jedigoodman) January 22, 2017
While Meryl Streep did not show up in the end, there was a diverse cast of celebrities represented
This is maybe the greatest, oddest collection of people under one roof at the same time. #Bellator170 pic.twitter.com/mkao9tZMyI— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) January 22, 2017
In Other News
- Jussier Formiga vs Ray Borg has been announced. It will take place in Brazil, March 11th, at UFC Fight Night 106.
- Tyron Woodley and Jamie Varner went at it on Twitter after Varner accused Woodley of race-baiting.
- Manny Pacquiao wants to fight Conor McGregor too, and states the obvious- that the Notorious doesn’t have a shot at beating Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match
Bellator wasn’t the only promotion holding an event last night.
If everything gets sorted in time I'll be covering..... pic.twitter.com/lQDZbZNiAm— Zombie Prophet (@ZPGIFs) January 21, 2017
Ray Lewis catching Jordy Nelson coming over the middle then snatching onto a guillotine choke @ZPGIFs @FloCombat https://t.co/qYVOU7Yu5j pic.twitter.com/RaJxWpajSi— Duane Finley (@DuaneFinleyMMA) January 22, 2017
CLOTHESLINE!!! pic.twitter.com/uyQGBAK9km— Zombie Prophet (@ZPGIFs) January 22, 2017
Damn.... pic.twitter.com/Z1BoSbrIbO— Zombie Prophet (@ZPGIFs) January 22, 2017
THIS. JUST. HAPPENED @FloCombat @ZPGIFs @TeamMMABattle https://t.co/Gs2AeWgqW6 #DoubleKO #Sleepoverparty pic.twitter.com/cfef5di3gi— FloCombat (@FloCombat) January 22, 2017
Looks like Flo Combat had their craziest event yet. Team MMA is just an absolutely insane idea on every level.
Enjoy your Sunday, Maniacs.