Sonnen retires from MMA after loss
Chael Sonnen walked away from his 22-year MMA career after a loss Friday night, saying the defeat showed him he had “used up all my toughness.”
“I’m not as tough as I used to be,” Sonnen, 42, said, per ESPN. “I don’t want it as bad as I used to. I used to walk through stuff like this.”
Sonnen suffered a second-round loss by TKO to former UFC champion Lyoto Machida at Bellator 222 at New York’s Madison Square Garden, then made his announcement.
He finishes with a career record of 30-17-1.
“I had a hell of a lot of fun,” Sonnen said in his postfight interview with ESPN. “I had a good run. I’m walking out. I appreciate the memories, and goodbye.”
Sonnen said he didn’t enter Friday’s fight thinking he’d retire. After a tough first round, in which Machida dropped Sonnen twice, the fight was called 22 seconds into the second round.
Sonnen missed chunks of this decade due to suspensions for positive tests for banned substances. He announced his retirement once but returned to fight in 2017.
He is the third fighter to retire after a bout against Machida (26-8), joining Randy Couture and Vitor Belfort.
“I feel it’s an honor for me to be part of his history and to share the cage with Chael Sonnen, Randy Couture, Vitor Belfort, because I consider those guys are legends in the sport,” Machida, from Brazil, told reporters. “To be part of their story, for me, I’m so grateful for that.”