After 48 professional fights, 42-year-old Chael Sonnen has decided to hang up his gloves.
Sonnen was defeated by former UFC champion Lyoto Machida Friday night at Bellator 222 via TKO. Machida consistently stuffed Sonnen’s takedown attempts, eventually catching “The American Gangster” with a flying knee ultimately resulting in the TKO victory. Following the loss, Sonnen made the decision to officially retire from mixed-martial arts.
“I had a hell of a lot of fun,” said Sonnen following his loss. “I had a good run… And ladies and gentlemen, I’m walking out. I appreciate the memories, and goodbye.”
Sonnen further detailed his decision to hang up the gloves at Bellator 222’s post-fight news conference.
“I feel like I used all my toughness up,” Sonnen said. “I thought I could’ve scrambled. I thought I could have gotten ip. 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.”
While he hadn’t previously planned on retiring when he did, Sonnen’s realization that he had lost some of his edge prompted him to make the decision. The loss put his Bellator record at 2-3, with wins over long-time foe Wanderlei Silva and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Despite his retirement from competition, Sonnen still fully intends on continuing his career as a commentator.
“I’ve got plenty of energy to call fights,” Sonnen told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. “But as far as getting in there and going with some of these guys, and trying to reclaim a championship, or get back even to a number one contenders fight; it’s tough.”
Sonnen, perhaps best known for his game-changing trash talk, retires with a professional record of 30-17-1.
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