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Lyoto Machida KO’s Sonnen With Flying Knee, Chael Announces Immediate Retirement

Lyoto Machida sent the legendary Chael Sonnen into retirement with a perfectly-timed flying knee that led to a TKO finish shortly after at Bellator 222. 

Chael’s run in the sport has seen him establish himself as one of the most popular fighters in the history of mixed martial arts – a true innovator on the mic and a formidable force inside the cage to boot.

Coming up against Lyoto Machida at Bellator 222 last night, Sonnen seemed to be working a solid grapple-heavy gameplan as he attempted to stifle the dynamic striker standing in front of him.

Machida, as you know, is one of the craftiest knockout artists to ever do it and when he managed to find his opening, he pounced, nailing Chael with a pair of flying knees – the second of which left the American open for a TKO finish in the second round.

Shortly after the fight, The American Gangster took to the mic to announce retirement from the sport.

Sonnen will leave a pro-record of (31-17-1) behind him, a career that saw him fight for the UFC middleweight title on two different occasions as well as the light-heavyweight strap once.

Victories over Shogun Rua, Michael Bisping, Wanderlei Silva, and Quinton Jackson are among the highlights taken from the legend’s highly entertaining run in the sport in both the UFC, Bellator, and beyond.

One would have to assume that Machida now stands within touching of a shot at divisional champion Gegard Mousasi, a fight that would stand as a rematch of their first meeting in 2014, a fight that Lyoto was able to take home the win in.

Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena

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Author: Cillian Cunningham

Lead mixed martial arts writer who can be contacted at