On Saturday, Chael Sonnen made his MMA comeback after a four-year absence at Bellator 170 where he faced fellow former UFC veteran Tito Ortiz. The fight ended with Sonnen being on the receiving end of a rear-naked choke and tapping out at the 2:03 mark of the first round.
However, a number of fans have called out the said fight, claiming that there is a possibility that it was all rigged. But according to Sonnen himself, such allegations are dumbfounding, as he conceded to the fact that he was beaten fair and square.
“I don’t even know how to respond to that,” Sonnen said on a recent episode of the Luke Thomas Show. “All I could tell you is that I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t respect it when it went on. I thought we were going to get in a scramble and I was going to come on top, but I was stuck.”
“It’s protocol and procedure, and if you get beat, and you got to tap and surrender, you gotta own it forever. You can’t go back and say ‘well, I didn’t try.’ So as much as I appreciate supporters offering an excuse for me, there’s not an excuse, man. I got put in a choke and I had to tap.”
Sonnen was also barred by Bellator from competing at his own Submission Underground 3 event this Sunday. The former UFC middleweight title challenger said he completely understood his employers’ decision, explaining that it was merely a contract issue.
“That’s contractual. You have to get in and get permission,” Sonnen explained. “It’s the same with the UFC. That is in the contract. And Bellator just didn’t have time. They were like ‘hey listen, we don’t think we got a Commission issue here, but all we have to do is simply contact them and find out that we don’t, but you didn’t give us any time.’ They were like ‘you stepped in on Tuesday, that gives us four working days, we’re just not positive we can get this done.’”
“They were polite and professional as can be, and I did spring this on them. It was supposed to be Hector vs. Garry. Hector pulled out and ended up taking a fight with Johny Hendricks. Garry’s a scary guy it’s hard to get anybody to agree on short notice. Particularly by the time you get him a plane ticket, fly them out to Oregon, there’s a lot of moving parts so it was easy for me to just go ‘alright, I’m in.’”
“Bellator was great about it, they just said ‘he didn’t quite give us enough time.’”