Providing closure on the career of one of the last old school UFC champions, Bellator 170 went down on January 21. Rounding out a 20-year career, Tito Ortiz submitted Chael Sonnen in the main event. Although the show featured some great fights and finishes, it wasn’t without controversy, at least after the fact. Ortiz’s bout with Sonnen has been analysed by conspiracy theorists and sceptical fans, many of whom believe something was amiss. Hand movements by Ortiz during the grappling exchanges were pointed out, leading to fight fixing accusations.
Among those who threw allegations around was former UFC title challenger Dan Hardy. After watching the fight again a few times, ‘The Outlaw’ did admit to The MMA Hour that it was more likely Sonnen just ‘didn’t want to fight.’ Looking back at fights like Shamrock vs. Gracie 3 and Shamrock vs. Kimbo, this is not the first time Bellator have stood accused. Responding to fans during a Facebook Q & A, Ortiz was not amused.
“All these people are saying it was a fixed fight, those are the ones that are just fucking haters. Believe me, I tried to punch him in his face. I tried to elbow him in his face, hard, and he gave his back. I’m going to take a choke. That was fixed? That’s why I held onto the choke even longer. I even got marks on my face from him. Come on people, I don’t do fixed fights. I drilled those positions, ask BJ Penn.””
“Yeah it was really fixed, that’s why I have to get neck surgery you stupid asses. Come on people, don’t be so ignorant, don’t be so dumb, don’t be so gullible. I know my fans don’t believe it, but for the people that do, don’t be so gullible. Did you see how red his face was? I almost ripped his neck off, almost broke his head, almost broke his jaw. I was squeezing for dear life, that’s for sure.”
When Wanderlei Silva accused the UFC of fixing fights, Tito Ortiz actually said he agreed. Ironically ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ now finds himself mixed up in that murky pot. Granted Bellator has a less than stellar track record, although no allegations have ever been confirmed. Is this just a case of conspiracy nuts gone wild, or is there fire at the bottom of this smoke plume?