SATURDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/25: Sonnen says Tito acknowledged he verbally tapped and the ref missed it in their fight (w/Cervantes Analysis)

By Jonathan Cervantes, MMATorch contributor

Chael Sonnen (artist Grant Gould © MMATorch)

One month removed from their bout at Bellator 170, Chael Sonnen is claiming Tito Ortiz verbally tapped to a submission before recovering and submitting Sonnen to win the fight.

On a recent episode of his podcast “You’re Welcome,” Sonnen said he refused to speak about the matter publicly after the fight because he didn’t want to take away from Ortiz’s victory. “The only reason I kept my mouth shut at the Tito fight – look, Tito tapped in that fight,” he said. “I knew Tito tapped when he tapped. I heard Tito verbally tap and I’ve never said a word about it, privately to Tito at the press conference or to you guys. I never said anything and the reason is, first off, when you lose, you just take your loss.”

Sonnen also said Ortiz even acknowledged it after the fight ended, and that he understood the referee missed the verbal submission. “It was between Tito and I,” Sonnen said. “He gave me a look after the fight. Tito, we’re good, man. I tapped fair and square. The ref called my tap, he didn’t call your tap, we’re good. You think I’ve never ran a tap back before? Sure I have. You’re in there, you do anything you can. I had absolutely no problem with it.”

As far as accepting the loss, Sonnen maintains that he’s the superior fighter and just failed to find his rhythm during the fight. “And yeah, we are one apiece,” he said. “I never got going. That guy is easy work for me. I would put that guy away in less than two minutes. It would be a completely different fight. It bothers me. It bothers me to come out here and say that I’d clean a guy up in two minutes that just tapped me out. I realize how insane that sounds but the guy was gone.”

Though Sonnen has called for a rematch, Ortiz has said his fight with Sonnen was his last and will now focus on other ventures outside of fighting.

Cervantes Analysis: With Sonnen’s credibility we’ll never know if there’s any truth to this. Sonnen himself is no stranger to controversy when it comes to submissions (remember how fiercely he denied tapping to Anderson Silva in their first bout?) so it’s a little funny that he would come out and say this after the fight a month later. Still, refs do make bad calls and sometimes miss things in a fight so this may have been one of those times where Ortiz was fortunate enough to hold out and ultimately pull out the win. Like I said, we’ll never know if it happened or not and Sonnen should focus on improving himself rather than make excuses for why he should’ve won that fight.


-According to Bloody Elbow, Dominick Cruz said that both T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt want to fight him.

-On an episode of the MMA Hour, Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping said he took Luke Rockhold’s soul in their fight.

-Dana White told TMZ that expects Conor McGregor’s next fight will be in MMA and it’ll be against the winner of Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov. He said those two don’t like each other, but he hopes Khabib doesn’t tear Ferguson’s face off like he has threatened. “Let’s hope that doesn’t happen,” he said, chuckling. “As for McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather, “we’re nowhere.” Watch the clip HERE.

-Roy Jones Jr. posted a tweet earlier this week expressing interest in a boxing match with Anderson Silva.

-Cage Sport 44 takes place tonight at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Wash. on Saturday. Justin Harrington and Julian Erosa both made weight for their CageSport Lightweight Championship fight at CageSport 44. Harrington (9-2) came in at 154 pounds, while Erosa (20-5) tipped the scale at 154.5. The five-round main event will be for the CageSport Lightweight Championship, one of nine bouts on the card. Tickets are available through the EQC box office and all Ticket Master outlets. Doors open at 6 p.m.with preliminary bouts starting at 7 p.m. For more info, visit

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: FRIDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/24: Tony Ferguson heats up trash talk ahead of fight against Nurmagomedov (w/Cervantes Analysis)

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