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Tito Ortiz says Chael Sonnen will '(expletive) himself' and drown 'in his own blood' at Bellator 170
Tito Ortiz is at his most intense when he’s about to head into a fight. Add in the fact Ortiz doesn’t like his opponent, and the volume gets cranked up even louder.
That’s the case for Ortiz (18-12-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) going into his Bellator 170 main event with Chael Sonnen (29-14-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA). There’s no love lost between the pair, which gives “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” plenty of motivation to put on the performance of a lifetime in his retirement fight.
Ortiz, 41, will end a nearly 20-year career in the light-heavyweight headliner with Sonnen at Bellator 170, which takes place Jan. 21 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.
Ortiz wants to go out on a win, and said he’s put in a lengthy training camp to ensure that happens.
“I’ve been training now for almost four months, and this is probably one of the longest camps I’ve had, and it’s time to showcase my skills,” Ortiz told reporters on Tuesday’s pre-event media call. “Chael says he’s fighting because he’s jealous, and that’s the wrong way to come into a fight. I’m going in to get redemption, and to me Chael is my enemy. This is no game. This is nothing fun. This is what I do for a living. I train, and I go out to try and hurt my opponent.”
The Ortiz-Sonnen relationship goes all the way back to their days in collegiate wrestling. Sonnen beat Ortiz in just 44 seconds in their lone wrestling match in 1998, and Ortiz said he hasn’t forgotten about that day.
Additionally, Ortiz and Sonnen have traveled in similar circles for the better part of two decades. Ortiz was already UFC light heavyweight champion when Sonnen entered the sport, but since then they’ve fought in the same promotions, shared numerous common opponents and even approached the sport with slightly similar fighting styles.
Ortiz said he has a precise read on Sonnen’s game going into the headlining bout. For him, that breeds confidence he’s capable of delivering a performance with which he can pridefully end his career.
“I know what I need to do,” Ortiz said. “I need to defend the takedown. I need to watch out for the punches. I need to watch out for the guillotine. I know all of the moves that Chael has done, and my job is to go in and destroy him. On Jan. 21, two days before my birthday, I want to get the fight of the night. I hope Chael’s in great shape because when I’m on top of him, he’s going to (expletive) himself. I’m going to throw my elbows through his face, and like I said, this is no joke.”
The Bellator 170 main event marks not just Ortiz’s retirement fight, but also Sonnen’s return to fighting after more than three years away. Sonnen’s past 11 fights took place under the UFC banner, but his career with the promotional – and seemingly overall – ended when failed drug tests led to a two-year suspension of his fighting license.
Although Sonnen, 39, said he wouldn’t return to active competition, he ultimately parted ways with the UFC and came back with Bellator for the clash with Ortiz. That rubs the UFC Hall of Famer and MMA legend the wrong way, and Ortiz said he’s going to make Sonnen regret his decision to fight him at Bellator 170.
“This guy knows that he bit off a little more than he can chew,” Ortiz said. “I’ve been through 20 years of competition, won world titles, and stepped into that cage over and over again. The proof is in the pudding. I’m sitting here listening to the tone that Chael has, and it sounds like he’s drowning. And on Jan. 21, he’s going to be drowning in his own blood.”