Chael Sonnen explains his decision to retire from MMA

Chael Sonnen, Lyoto Machida, Henry Cejudo

Following his stoppage loss to Lyoto Machida last night, fan favorite Chael Sonnen announced his retirement from mixed martial arts.

Machida was able to catch Sonnen with a pair of flying knees in last night’s co-main event, the second of which ended Chael’s night (watch that here).

The loss served as Sonnen’s second in a row, as he was previously defeated by MMA Legend Fedor Emelianenko via first round TKO at Bellator 208.

Chael Sonnen, Who turned 42 years old this past April, explained his decision to retire at the Bellator 222 post-fight press conference.

“No, I didn’t have that planned,” Chael Sonnen said (transcribed by MMAMania). “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.”

Chael Sonnen continued,

“You’ve got to be tough in this sport,” Sonnen said. “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.”

Chael Sonnen competed for a UFC championship on three occasions during his career. Unfortunately for ‘The American Gangster’, he came up shorts in all three of those efforts losing to Anderson Silva (x2) and Jon Jones respectively.