Ortiz Finishes Career & Feud with Sonnen
At the end of Bellator 170, which took place at The Forum, in Inglewood, California, Tito Ortiz’s son laid his red gloves down in the middle of the Bellator cage. Tito Ortiz embraced Bellator President Scott Coker, and he headed up the ramp, thanking fans, while the stage graphics displayed a thank you message.
The 20-year year career of the legendary Tito Ortiz finally came to an end at this event, and Ortiz went out the way he wanted — on top. Ortiz defeated bitter rival Chael Sonnen to close out his MMA career.
Ever since Sonnen signed with Bellator Fall 2016, the two have gone after each other online, on the mic, and in face-to-face meetings. But their rivalry went back further than that — Sonnen defeated Ortiz via pin in less than a minute during an NCAA wrestling meet in 1997, months before Ortiz would go on to become a UFC champion. That loss, Ortiz said, took place on his 23rd birthday, and it has haunted him since. And with his final MMA fight, he looked to get revenge.
Scary enough for Ortiz, the bout started almost identical to their 1997 amateur wrestling bout — Sonnen had Ortiz on the ground, arms around his neck, looking for a guillotine choke while Ortiz was desperate to find an escape. But somehow, about a minute and a half into the bout, Ortiz found a way out and got into ground-and-pound positioning. Soon, Sonnen transitioned and gave up his back, allowing Ortiz to lock in a rear-naked choke and score the submission to go out in a blaze of glory.
Elsewhere on the main card, Paul Daley defeated Brennan Ward via first-round knockout with a finish many are already, despite it only being January, considering for Knockout of the Year.
With a KO of the Year nomination already, Paul Daley def. Brennan Ward via KO (Rd. 1, 2:27) https://t.co/27A8Embiqt
— FIGHT SPORTS (@FIGHTSPORTS) January 22, 2017
Following the bout, Daley called out Rory MacDonald, with Daley warning him that if he tried to do anything like he did in the UFC, he would "knock him the [expletive] out."
On the other end of the spectrum, Hisaki Koto earned a victory over Ralek Gracie in a bout where Gracie never really engaged much until the final couple of minutes of the bout. Neither fighter engaged for the first half of the fight, prompting referee Jason Herzog to step in and warn both fighters to engage. The crowd was noticeably upset with Gracie’s performance, chanting "Fight!" for a good portion of the third round. Gracie did get top positioning and did some damage, but by that point the fight was already ending.
Bellator 170 Main Card results (9 p.m., SPIKE)
Tito Ortiz def. Chael Sonnen via submission (rear-naked choke) (Rd. 1, 2:03)
Paul Daley def. Brennan Ward via KO (Rd. 1, 2:27)
Hisaki Kato def. Ralek Gracie via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Emmanuel Sanchez def. Georgi Karakhanyan via majority decision (28-28, 28-27, 28-27)
Derek Campos def. Derek Anderson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Bellator 170 Prelims results (6:50 p.m., SPIKE)
Guilherme (Bomba) Vasconcelos def. John Mercurio via KO (Rd. 2, 0:41)
Kevin Casey vs. Keith Berry goes to a majority draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)
Alex Soto def. Demarcus Brown via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Chinzo Machida def. Jamar Ocampo via TKO (Rd. 3, 3:48)
Jalin Turner def. Gabriel Green via KO (Rd. 1, 0:36)