Chael Sonnen believes Tito Ortiz took a dive in Anderson Silva loss

chael sonnen, tito ortiz, triller fight club
Credit: Triller Fight Club/Amanda Westcott

Former Tito Ortiz and Anderson Silva foe, Chael Sonnen isn’t a believer in the one-punch power his one-time rival showed in knocking out Ortiz this past weekend at Triller Fight Club: Legends II.

Retired former UFC middleweight star Sonnen has a long history with both Silva and “The Huntington Beach Badboy.” A history that consists of three fights with those former UFC champions, and three losses. The Submission Underground boss also has a deep resume of fight experience and believes he can recognize when a competitor realizes they’re in over their head.

The 44-year-old explained in a recent video post on his Youtube channel that Ortiz had that moment during his boxing matchup with Silva in Saturday’s co-main event, and that he looked for a way out of a bad situation. The Oregon native sympathized with Ortiz because he believes it is easier to live to fight another day in an MMA fight than boxing. And that combat sports fans just saw an example of getting out of a bout early in the main event of UFC Vegas 36.

Chael Sonnen uses Darren Till as example of exiting a fight early

“When you have a guy that wants out, he will formulate; and sometimes he doesn’t even know that before the match, and in the match realizes, my toast is burnt, I need to get out of here in one piece,” Sonnen began. “That’s largely where the rear-naked-choke comes in. Turn over, give them my back; Darren Till just did it. Perfect example. Darren Till wanted out of that fight, he knew the position, he knew what he needed to show, ‘I held on just long enough,’ tap and get out.”

Sonnen breaks down Tito Ortiz’s ‘wrestling’ style selling of Anderson Silva’s punch

The two-time UFC middleweight title challenger then went on to explains the difficulty of Ortiz’s situation, and how a “pro-wrestling” level sell-job on the fight-ending punch made Ortiz’s “dive” all the more obvious since he was hit by a “16-oz pillow.”

“When Tito took the dive, when you have that anxiety, and fear, and fight or flight sets in and you need way out there’s not a ton of ways to get it in boxing. You’re gonna have to go down to a punch. You cannot rear-naked your way out of this thing. You cannot guillotine your way out of this thing. So what do you do? You wait until that first punch comes and you go down. Now, you do need to understand from this perspective. Tito fought a much smaller man than Tito has ever fought in his life,” said Sonnen.

“Tito did not take that hard of a punch, oh and by the way, he took it with a 16-oz pillow [and then] he was out. Never in Tito’s life — even when Chuck Liddell knocked him out — was Tito out, was he snoring. So he’s snoring, he is out, I mean he sold this thing pro-wrestling style. the way he went down, it was great. It looked very real. The second they say 10, boom, he’s awake, smile on his face, and everything’s fine. … Anderson doesn’t know that’s what Tito did. So Anderson’s walking around today going, ‘My god I’ve got power.'”

In the video, Sonnen later gave his one-time Bellator opponent a lot of credit. Explaining that taking an obvious dive is extremely damaging for a combat sports career, but his immediate public pivot to a battle of recent boxing losers against Youtuber turned fighter Logan Paul was a great bit of narrative misdirection.

chael sonnen, tito ortiz, anderson silva
Credit: Triller Fight Club/Amanda Westcott

What do you think, did Tito Ortiz take a dive against Anderson Silva, or is “The Spider” just that lethal of a striker, even in boxing?

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