After suffering a TKO loss to Lyoto Machida last night (Fri., June 14, 2019) in Bellator 222’s co-main event, former UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen announced his retirement from mixed martial arts (MMA).
Sonnen, who ate two flying knees to the face before getting finished by “The Dragon” in the second round, took about 30 seconds to delivery a post-fight speech before taking off his gloves and leaving them in the Bellator cage.
“Listen, I got one thing to say. I had a hell of a lot of fun,” began Sonnen after the TKO loss (shown above courtesy of DAZN). “I had a good run. Scott Coker gave me a five fight deal. He let me honor all five fights. And ladies and gentleman, I’m walking out.
“I appreciate the memories and goodbye.”
Assuming Sonnen isn’t tempted to come out of retirement for a future cash grab this will mark the end of the Bad Guy Era.
Sonnen, 42, made a name for himself during the early days of his UFC career. His highly-publicized rivalry with legendary UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva remains one of the biggest feuds in MMA history and ultimately allowed Sonnen to demonstrate the trash-talking ability that made him such a popular draw.
In total, “American Gangster” put together a 31-17-1 professional MMA record spanning over 22 years throughout notable organizations like UFC, Bellator, WEC, and Pancrase. Sonnen would end up fighting in four total (3 in UFC, 1 in WEC) major world championship fights only to lose all by way of TKO or submission. The former collegiate wrestler does hold keys victories over notable MMA fighters such as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Wanderlei Silva, Michael Bisping, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Nate Marquardt, Paulo Filho, and Brian Stann.
Only time will tell if this is really the end of Chael Sonnen’s fighting career. If it is, what will you remember most?
For complete Bellator 222 results and coverage click here.