Tito Ortiz has ended his MMA career on a triumphant win, submitting Chael Sonnen in the first round with a rear-naked choke.
Ortiz escaped from an early D’Arce attempt from Sonnen and forced the trash-talking icon to give up his back, where he sunk in his fight-ending submission at the 2:03 mark of the opening frame.
The light heavyweight bout was the main event of Bellator 170 which took place at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. It aired on Spike TV.
These rivals had met 19 years ago on the wrestling mats, where Sonnen quickly pinned Ortiz.
But this time around, it was Ortiz who turned the tables on Sonnen. After a brief skirmish on the feet, he grabbed a leg and took the fight to the ground. Ortiz was put on the defensive when Sonnen flipped him over and secured a headlock . Sonnen worked to set up a D’Arce before abandoning the attempt when he couldn’t fully wrap his arms around Ortiz’s neck.
Sonnen quickly transitioned to a guillotine choke, however, that forced Ortiz to wait things out. When Ortiz had the space, he popped his head free, stepping from half-guard to mount, and landing a few elbows that gave Sonnen good reason to give up his back.
Sonnen briefly fought Ortiz’s hands, but eventually gave in to the pressure.
“I don’t think the emotions have set in,” said Ortiz, who had his son lay his gloves down in the cage as a ceremonial gesture of his retirement.
Sonnen, 39, who returned to the cage three years after retiring from the sport in the wake of a positive drug test, once again finds himself on the losing end of a fight after a quick TKO loss to Rashad Evans under the UFC banner in 2013.
Ortiz, 41, leaves the sport on a win after a submission loss to Bellator light heavyweight champ Liam McGeary two years ago at Bellator 142.
Here is the Post-fight Press Conference: