On Friday night, after being stopped by Lyoto Machida in the co-main event of Bellator 222, Chael Sonnen decided to up to hang up the gloves.
Sonnen had a legendary career as a professional mixed martial artist, challenging for WEC and UFC titles on multiple occasions, and very nearly battling the Bellator heavyweight strap. In the end, however, he never captured a major MMA title.
This reality has got to sting for Sonnen, who has made no secret of the fact that he promised his late father he would become a world champion in MMA.
At the Bellator 222 post-fight press conference, Chael Sonnen was asked what he would tell his father at the end of his MMA career. He immediately teared up and provided a poignant answer.
“I’d just tell him I tried,” he said, his voice shaking.
A newly retired Chael Sonnen became visibly emotional when asked what he'd tell his late father:
"I tried." 😢
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) June 16, 2019
While Chael Sonnen never captured a title in Bellator, WEC, or the UFC, he did accomplish some pretty remarkable things in his MMA career, defeating top-flight foes like Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Wanderlei Silva, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Michael Bisping, Nate Marquardt, Brian Stann, Yushin Okami, Renato “Babalu” Sobral, and Jason “Mayhem” Miller. He also holds the distinction of being the only man to battle MMA legends Anderson Silva, Jon Jones and Fedor Emelianenko.
Suffice it to say that his late father would likely be incredibly proud of his achievements.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/16/2019.