Chael Sonnen announced he’s retiring from MMA last night after being TKO’d by Lyoto Machida early in the second round at Bellator 222.
Sonnen clearly came off second best against ‘The Dragon’ in the co-main event of the evening, being dropped twice by flying knees during the fight, and it’s a performance that’s convinced him that it’s time to hang up his gloves for good.
“I didn’t have that planned,” Sonnen told reporters at the post-fight press conference. “I thought I was going to win this fight and call out Ryan Bader. Everything was going my way until it wasn’t. But no, I don’t regret it. It was a No. 1 contender’s match, and I thought it was a big opportunity, and it was. It’s somebody else’s turn.”
Sonnen went on to admit that at 42-years-old his will to win and toughness are no longer what they once were.
“You’ve got to be tough in this sport. I feel like I used all of my toughness up. There was some positions in there that, before in my career, I would have walked right through them. I did mind losing to him in his spots – you know, some of the stuff on our feet and those jumping knees and whatnot. But I did mind losing to him in my spots. He was on top of me, and I didn’t think he’d be on top of me.
“I thought I could have scrambled. I thought I could have gotten up. I used to be tougher. I used to want it more. I used to have more grit, and I just felt like maybe I fired my last bullet. I didn’t have that same grit, and it’s time to move on.”
Sonnen retires with an overall 31-17-1 record, which included victories over the likes of Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Wanderlei Silva, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and Michael Bisping.