When a fight gets personal, you can bet that emotions can sometimes get the best of these competitive athletes.
In the main event of Bellator 170, Tito Ortiz had to be pried off from holding onto his rear-naked choke on Chael Sonnen by referee “Big” John McCarthy.
“When he was tapping, I thought he was trying to grab my hands, but I kind of held on to it because I have ill will towards him,” Ortiz stated at the post-fight press conference (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “But that’s just me, when someone talks about my family, when someone talks about my character, I have bad will towards the person. And I’ve never done that before, but it was just something in my mind saying, if I let go and they stop it and restart it again, I couldn’t let that happen.”
“The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” even gave an apology to the athletic commission “for holding on to it a little longer” and the California State Atheltic Commission recently commented on the incident.
Andy Foster, Executive Director of the California State Athletic Commission, said on Monday that the incident involving Ortiz will not result in any sanctions.
“We are not looking to,” Foster said to Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting. “Referee John McCarthy fixed that situation quickly. John got him to to release the choke. If a referee wants a fighter punished for conduct, they will come and we will discuss it. That did not happen.”
What did you think about Tito Ortiz holding onto the choke on Chael Sonnen? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 1/24/2017.