On Saturday night, Bellator MMA returned to our screens with Bellator 170. Featuring some of the organization’s biggest names, this action-packed card was topped by a light heavyweight showdown between UFC Hall-of-Famer and veritable MMA legend Tito Ortiz, and returning cult hero Chael Sonnen.
In the buildup to this fight, we learned that Tito Ortiz would be retiring afterwards, no matter what happened in the cage. In the end, he was able to earn himself a win, and the perfect way to ride off into the MMA sunset.
Ortiz earned his win with a first-round, neck-crank / rear-naked choke hybrid. This win came after Ortiz took Sonnen down early, snuck his way out of a guillotine attempt, secured full mount, and ultimately, took the back.
In the wake of Ortiz’s dominant submission defeat of Chael Sonnen, many notable members of the MMA community took to Twitter to congratulate him on his win and wish him well as he embarks on his well-deserved retirement. A handful of fighters also suggested that his defeat of Sonnen may have been a fix – thought this certainly seems unlikely.
See the best reactions to Ortiz’s defeat of Sonnen and and subsequent retirement below.
— KEN SHAMROCK (@ShamrockKen) January 22, 2017
Omg he choked him out …
— Chris Wade (@CWadeMMA) January 22, 2017
That ringworm on Chael's left shoulder might be the most lethal thing Tito has ever fought fighting. #Bellator170
— Dominick Cruz (@DominickCruz) January 22, 2017
Just in case anyone was still wondering how much PEDs really helped fighters…
— Anthony Rocco Martin (@TonyRoccoMartin) January 22, 2017
Chael tapped to a fucking headlock
Didn't even try defend neck
Props to tito
— TJ Grant (@TJ_Grant) January 22, 2017
— Patricio Freire (@PatricioPitbull) January 22, 2017
Ayeee great to see a legend go out on top congrats @titoortiz
— . (@spartanlife32) January 22, 2017
Good bye @titoortiz great way to go out.
— Linton Vassell (@LDV_TheSwarm) January 22, 2017
I remember watching @titoortiz KO slam Evan Tanner on VHS and telling my brother when I was 19 I want to fight in UFC oneday Thank you TiTo!
— joey beltran (@mexicutioner760) January 22, 2017
— Douglas Lima (@PhenomLima) January 22, 2017
Really happy for @titoortiz right now… What a legend man, thank you for all of your amazing battles!
— David Rickels (@TheCaveman316) January 22, 2017
Hell yeah TITO! Now thats how you retire!! #HuntingtonBeachBadBoy
— Myles Jury (@FuryJury) January 22, 2017
Congrats @titoortiz ,great victory,I still want to see u beat his ass real bad brother only love4U. HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) January 22, 2017
— Nick Newell (@NotoriousNewell) January 22, 2017
— Yves Edwards (@thugjitsumaster) January 22, 2017
That was job if Ive ever seen one
— Mike "Biggie" Rhodes (@TeamRocBiggie) January 22, 2017
Having bested Sonnen, Ortiz rebounds from a recent loss to former Bellator light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary, which saw him blow an early lead and fail to claim the title. The UFC Hall-of-Famer, who made his pro debut almost two decades ago in May of 1997, will retire with a 19-12-1 overall record.
Sonnen, meanwhile, now finds himself on a two-fight losing streak, having also lost his second most recent bout, succumbing to Rashad Evans punches back in 2013. He’s now 28-15-1 overall.
What do you think of Tito Ortiz’s legendary career? Sound off in the comments section, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/22/2017.