One of the most hated and loved mixed martial artists decided to hang the gloves for good.
Chael Sonnen (30-17-1) called it a career following his loss by Lyoto Machida (26-8) in the co-main event of Bellator 222 this past Friday in New York.
The 42-years-old vet managed to survive the first round flying knee he ate, but a jumping knee from Machida in the second round followed by ground-and-pound ended his night and eventually a career.
After the fight, Sonnen took off his gloves and announced his retirement in front of those in attendance at Madison Square Garden in New York City and those watching around the world. During the post-fight press conference, which MMA News attended, Sonnen explained his decision to retire (via MMAJunkie.com):
“No, I didn’t have that planned. 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.
“You’ve got to be tough in this sport. I feel like I used all of my toughness up. There were 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.”