With speculation continuing to circulate regarding whether or not this past weekend’s (Sat. January 21, 2017) Bellator 170 main event between Tito Ortiz and Chael Sonnen was fixed or not, the bout’s referee, ‘Big’ John McCarthy, has a solution to settle the debate once and for all.
During a recent interview with MMA Junkie, McCarthy stated he would love to put the fight-fix accusers in the same choke Sonnen was in, then ask them again whether or not they believe the fight was a sham:
“What I would love if I could do it is take people that say that’s a fix (and say), ‘Good, I’m going to put you in that hold that he was in, and I want you to feel it. I want you to see how strong Tito Ortiz really is. I want you to feel the pressure that Chael was under.’ You could see even on the screen how purple his face was starting to get.
“That choke was not what we’d say is a perfect choke. It’s not. It’s on one side of his neck. But trust me, on one side, you start to shut down that one carotid artery, it will put him out. It will just take a lot longer.”
After McCarthy waived the fight off following Sonnen’s tap, Ortiz held onto the choke a little longer than he should have due to the ill-will between him and ‘The Bad Guy’ leading up to the contest. ‘Big John’ stated he had to insert his thumb into Ortiz’s trachea to force Ortiz to break the hold:
“I don’t want to hurt Tito, but if you’re not listening and you’re trying to hurt Chael, my job is to protect Chael,” he said. “If you want to be dumb, then you’re going to end up feeling something that’s not comfortable.”
Ortiz admitted he hung on to the choke a little longer due to Sonnen’s trash-talk leading up to the contest, making a rather personal remark about his ex-wife, something that didn’t at all surprise McCarthy:
“I think that was 21st fight I’ve done with Tito Ortiz,” he said. “I’ve known Tito since he was a teenager. Tito is a great guy. Now, he does get emotional. He’s the one that really came up (and he) started doing that trash talk, and he has his rules for trash talk. But they’re his rules, and no one else has to follow his rules.
“Chanel’s got his own thing. And now, Chael’s said some things at times that I go, ‘Yeah, you just don’t do that.’ But that’s Chael, and Chael’s going to say those things.
“If you’re smart, Chael is selling the fight. He’s making people look and say, ‘We’ve got heat.’ He keeps on saying things to get under the skin of Tito and to make it look like they have this thing. But in the end, the best part of fighting is, OK you’ve said all these things, but there’s going to be the day that comes up where I get to punch you in the middle of the face for all those things you said.”