MMA veteran Chael Sonnen alleges that Tito Ortiz ‘verbally tapped’ in their headlining bout at Bellator 170.
Chael Sonnen accepted his loss to Tito Ortiz like a man at the Bellator 170 post-fight press conference, but the three-time UFC title challenger is now alleging that ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ verbally tapped out shortly into the first round.
“The score is one-one between Tito and I and you always go into a rubber match,” Sonnen said on his podcast, ‘You’re Welcome!’ on Thursday (h/t Jed Meshew of MMA Fighting). “Everyone knows that. The only reason I kept my mouth shut at the Tito fight – look, Tito tapped in that fight. I knew Tito tapped when he tapped. I heard Tito verbally tap and I’ve never said a word about it, privately to Tito at the press conference or to you guys. I never said anything and the reason is, first off, when you lose, you just take your loss. It’s not a tap if the referee doesn’t call it a tap so therefore, Tito didn’t tap. I thought he tapped, and I let a move go. He verbally tapped, and I never said anything about it and the reason was, he quit the sport five seconds later. He quit the sport five seconds after I tapped and he quit the sport a minute and five seconds after he tapped. There was no rematch. There was nothing to build and no reason to tell the real story.”
The official result, however, was very different.
Ortiz secured a rear-naked choke just two minutes into the fight and announced his retirement in the post-fight interview. Shortly after retiring, however, the Californian opted to step in as a late replacement at Bellator 172 to fight Fedor Emelianenko after Matt Mitrione was forced to withdraw from the bout due to kidney stones.
Sonnen, who holds a win over Ortiz in collegiate wrestling, says the UFC Hall of Famer wanted nothing to do with Emelianenko and used his call out as a publicity stunt.
“He then make-believes that he’s gonna come back for Fedor,” Sonnen said. “Now, Tito was nowhere near the Fedor fight. He didn’t offer his services, he had nothing to do with it, but the bottom line was, he then took himself out of retirement by pretending that he offered to fight Fedor, which he did not do. If Tito ever wanted to come back and play, I’ll tell the whole story of what happened in that fight.”
Sonnen is doing everything in his power to lure Ortiz into a rematch, and it just might be working.
The 42-year-old Ortiz was quick to reply to Sonnen on Twitter, calling him his ‘b*tch’.
[email protected] You’re my BITCH!
— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) February 24, 2017
It’s unlikely that Ortiz will accept a rematch, but Sonnen knows exactly how to push his buttons and get under his skin. ‘The American Gangster’ infuriated Sonnen when he targeted his ex-girlfriend Jenna Jameson at the Bellator 170 pre-fight press conference.
Sonnen ended his rant by calling Ortiz ‘the worst fighter in the sport’.
“Tito’s the worst fighter in the sport. We were fighting for title. I took his title. I am now the worst fighter in the sport. Whoever I fight next, if I win that fight, he then becomes the worst fighter because I’ve officially got the crown, and that’s tough.”