Chael Sonnen and Fedor Emelianenko faced off for the Bellator heavyweight semi-finals back at Bellator 208. Emelianenko made short work of his opponent, ultimately earning a first round TKO victory.
Speaking on The MMA Hour, Chael Sonnen has since come forward to offer his thoughts on the fight.
“Physically, everything hurts. [Emelianenko] hit me with a missile about five-seconds in. That one still hurts a little bit. But other than that, I am doing well…My teeth are okay. If I had one wish going into a fight, aside from serious injury, it’s that I won’t lose a tooth. I had that same wish since I started this when I was 19 years old. But, yes they are all intact.
“Emotionally, I get heartbroken about these things. From a competitive standpoint, I have dedicated my whole life to this since I was nine years old and I would have started earlier if my dad would have let me. He wouldn’t let me start until I was nine. It hurts. It hurts really bad that you don’t get those moments back.”
“I’ve had these feelings before. I am convinced, in my interpretation, this is what it means to be a fighter. Somewhere over time that word became corrupted. It became about the punches and the kicks. But I’ve always believed it’s feeling like I’m feeling right now and getting out of bed anyway and facing the media and getting back on it. So now I have to be a fighter. I prefer to be a winner, I prefer to be on top of the world and looking down on everybody els. But today I’ve got to fight.”
“I’ve fought 49 guys, well I guess 50 counting Fedor, and I’ve never been out-struck. Not one single time have I lost the stand up part of a fight. I can’t say that anymore. This is first stand up I’ve ever lost. I didn’t think he was fast enough to catch me. I thought I’d be too quick. So I was going across and distract him with some punches and get into a clinch or get into a double leg and make it a wrestling match. I wanted to have my hands on him at all times. I was ready for some of those Sambo throws, I was ready for them to go against me, I was ready for him to succeed with those throws and have to scramble on the mat.
“It wasn’t like a real sophisticated game plan as much as it was just pressure-based. I just wanted to fight him. I wanted to be on him and wanted him to have to respond. But I also thought I could take his shots. I still didn’t see those punches. They were so fast and I was so impressed. In spite of hanging my head here today, I have to give him his credit. He earned it. I’ve got to credit his speed and his power, they were very difficult for me.”