The clock only ticked for a few seconds after the two-minute mark, but Tito Ortiz’s brief bout with Chael Sonnen at Bellator 170 still threw up a host of talking points.
The fact that Sonnen chose to submit to a rear-naked choke that didn’t seem fully secured garnered plenty of attention. It led some to question Chael’s spirit, others to question his motivation for returning to the sport and others still to question the legitimacy of the contest. Ortiz’s decision to hold on to the fight-ending choke long after referee John McCarthy had called for a break also got tongues wagging and, more central to the theme of this article, fingers tapping.
Then of course, there was the emotional outpouring that followed. Tito Ortiz is a fighter that deserves the ‘legend’ tag and this was his swansong, so the tributes came thick and fast.
Here is a sample of the reaction on Twitter…
— Rex Highwalker (@HighwalkerMMA) January 22, 2017
Tito Ortiz subs him and didn't even have full back control. Rear naked choke.
— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) January 22, 2017
— Zachary Makovsky (@ZachFunSize) 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
— Jamie Varner (@jamievarner) January 22, 2017
that wasn't for good measure. that was dirty.
— Mark Parris (@mnparris) January 22, 2017
fuck Tito Ortiz no class in this man wtf he doesn't deserve to be a fighter on this noble sport
— Fadl Ellah (@fennecbuzzsaw) January 22, 2017
His career ends with the biggest scripted / fake "fight" Shit Show EVER … WWE is more believable than Bellator
— New York Knight® (@KB_NYK) January 22, 2017
And the oscar goes to #Bellator170
— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) January 22, 2017
looked fake to me @ChaelSonnen didn't even try to get out or even defend the choke
— セルジオ (@b3st1nworld) January 22, 2017
— Yves (@thugjitsumaster) January 22, 2017
F word. Is bellator #FakeNews ? I love bellator but dang that was funky.
Ppl who know… what's up? #Bellator170
— Mickey Gall (@mickeygall) January 22, 2017
— Bill Goldberg (@Goldberg) January 22, 2017
— KEN SHAMROCK (@ShamrockKen) January 22, 2017
@titoortiz Congratulations, postfight interview was pure class! Happy Birthday!
— Mike Goldberg (@GoldieOnTV) January 22, 2017
— Patricio Freire (@PatricioPitbull) 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
Really happy for @titoortiz right now… What a legend man, thank you for all of your amazing battles!
— David Rickels (@TheCaveman316) January 22, 2017
— Brendan Schaub (@BrendanSchaub) January 22, 2017
(Captured below is the moment that Ortiz handed his gloves to son Jacob, who laid them down ceremoniously in the centre of the cage.)
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) January 22, 2017
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) January 22, 2017
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) January 22, 2017