Chael Sonnen appeared recently on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour and spoke about his loss to Tito Ortiz at Bellator 170 with utter candor.
“Oh, Tito is terrible,” said Sonnen, as transcribed by Marc Raimondi for MMA Fighting. “Tito was absolutely terrible. I was in the fight with him and that fight ended and some people said it was a fixed fight, to use that term.
“When you fight so poorly that some people can’t even imagine you fought that poorly that it has to be fixed, that’s not good. On some hands, it’s funny we can sit here and laugh about it. But that’s how bad it was.”
“Tito sucks. I mean, Tito is so bad. And when you lose to a guy, then you suck. That’s the way it works, man. I wouldn’t put that guy [down] without putting myself down. Tito is the worst fighter I ever fought and that makes me the worst fighter. And I just didn’t know that about myself.”
Sonnen also says he heard Ortiz verbally tap when he was in a Guillotine, and released the hold over concern for Tito’s neck.
“I want to beat Tito that night, I don’t like Tito,” Sonnen said. “I don’t want Tito to have a bad life. I don’t want him to go on with a bad neck. I just don’t.
“You yelled ‘tap’ and I let go. I physically tapped and you didn’t let go. If that would have been my knee … or an arm or something, you really could have injured me.”
For the record, Ortiz denied doing so, referee John McCarthy didn’t hear it, and nothing was caught on camera. Tito is retired, so there will never be a rematch. Or, knowing Tito, will there?!
Sonnen says two days after the loss, he was doing two-a-days in the gym.
“When you go out there and step down, yeah you do some soul searching, because you don’t want it to happen again,” Sonnen said of the Ortiz loss. “It’s very embarrassing and it’s a let down, not just to you and your fans, but your coaches. My coaches put in a lot of time with me for very little thanks. I do feel like I owe it to them.”