Referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy says he had to hurt Tito Ortiz to get him to let go of submission on Chael Sonnen

January 25, 2017 12:57 pm by Russell Ess
Tito Ortiz Chael Sonnen John McCarhty bellator 170

The main event of Bellator 170 had Chael Sonnen coming out of retirement to take on Tito Ortiz for “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’s” last fight of his career.

It was a fairytale ending for Ortiz, as the UFC Hall of Fame legend and pioneer of the sport finished Sonnen in the first round with a rear-naked choke submission that forced Sonnen to tap.

Tito Ortiz grave Chael Sonnen John McCarthy bellator 170

With all the bad blood that was built up with Sonnen’s infamous trash talk, Ortiz held onto the choke a bit longer than he needed as referee “Big” John McCarthy had to physically disengage Ortiz from the submission hold.

McCarthy took to twitter in a series of Ask Big John McCarthy questions where he was asked, “Hi John! Why not punish Tito for holding that choke way too long? He clearly had bad intentions.”

McCarthy answered with some insightful information that a lot of people may not have realized as he replied, “Because Chael was never in danger & Tito paid a price for holding on to long when I stuck my thumb into his Larynx. Trust me it hurt #AskBJM” McCarthy added, “It was going to take several more seconds for that choke to put him out. It was only attacking 1 carotid artery. But it was on tight #AskBJM”

Ortiz admitted that he held on to the choke because of the animosity he had for Sonnen. “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 said after the contest at the post-fight press conference.

Tito Ortiz Taps Chael Sonnen

Andy Foster, Executive Director of the California State Athletic Commission, told Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting that Ortiz’s actions with holding onto the choke will not result in any sanctions. Foster said that McCarthy fixed the situation and was able to get Ortiz to let go and it is a referees call if they choose they want to punish a fighter for conduct.

What are your thoughts on Tito Ortiz holding onto the submission he held on Chael Sonnen a bit longer than he should have? Let’s hear what your thoughts are in the comment section!

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 1/25/2017.


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