After a career that stretched into three decades, Chael Sonnen has decided to take off the gloves for a final time.
The 42-year-old fought his last bout at Bellator 222 in New York last night; and after being knocked out by Lyoto Machida, Sonnen announced his retirement from within the octagon.
Speaking at the post-fight press conference, the American insisted he had planned to win the fight before calling out his next opponent. As things transpired, he simply called time on his career.
I thought I was going to win this fight and call out Ryan Bader. Everything was going my way until it wasn’t. But no, I don’t regret it. It was a number one contender’s match, and I thought it was a big opportunity, and it was. It’s somebody else’s turn.
You’ve got to be tough in this sport. I feel like I used all of my toughness up.
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. I didn’t have that same grit, and it’s time to move on.
While he never won a UFC championship, he was involved in three title fights throughout his career, losing to Anderson Silva twice at middleweight and Jon Jones at light heavyweight.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) June 15, 2019
Since joining the Bellator ranks Sonnen has won only twice, losing on three occasions, which gives him a career record of 31-17-1 entering retirement.
Nevertheless, Sonnen's career was riddled with drug-taking controversies, incidents which saw eventually suspended for two years after repeat offences.
The 42-year-old is now expected to continue his career as a commentator with ESPN, the broadcaster he has been working for since 2014, on major MMA events.