On Friday night, notorious MMA star Chael Sonnen stepped into the Bellator octagon for the fifth and final time, facing Lyoto Machida in Madison Square Garden at Bellator 222. Sonnen was dominated, taking a brutal TKO loss just 22 seconds into the second round after a well-timed flying knee from Machida.
Sonnen’s record dropped to 30-17-1 for his MMA career between Bellator, the UFC, and several other fighting promotions. After suffering his fourth loss in six fights, the 42-year-old announced his retirement from fighting in the post-fight interview.
Sonnen embodied the “anytime, anywhere” fighting mantra, facing off against some of the best fighters of his era. He hasn’t fought in the UFC since 2013, but during his time with the promotion, he defeated Michael Bisping and Brian Stann, lost to Jon Jones, and lost to Anderson Silva twice, though he nearly ended Silva’s 11-0 UFC record in 2010.
Unfortunately for Sonnen, that’s not how many will remember him. He failed a drug test after his near-victory over Silva and just a few years later was busted for PEDs yet again. He spent the waning years of his career fighting former superstars and either losing or winning in relatively unimpressive fashion. However, if there’s one thing everyone can agree on about Sonnen, it’s that he was one of the best self-promoters this sport has ever seen.