Although Bellator’s signing of Chael Sonnen was a surprise, Tito Ortiz is more than willing to welcome the former UFC contender to his new promotion.
Ortiz is on the final fight of his Bellator contract, and has yet to determine if he wants to fight beyond its completion, but the arrival of Sonnen has given him a prime target for what sounds like the final fight of his career.
“I had zero heads-up Chael was signing with Bellator,” Ortiz told ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto. “I was thinking Fedor or Rampage (Jackson would be the next fight). I think this is a bigger fight than those. Chael interests me more than Fedor because he has a bigger following. He knows how to talk, and there’s history between us.”
Ortiz and Sonnen have never met in mixed martial arts competition, but Sonnen pinned Ortiz when they met in a wrestling match in college. That match is a long time gone now, but Ortiz doesn’t like losing, and wouldn’t mind having the opportunity to make up for that defeat, not to mention it would be a blockbuster fight for Bellator.
Ortiz has tried to get a fight with Fedor, but told ESPN that all the accommodations he would have to make have worn on him. He doesn’t sound thrilled about giving any leverage to Fedor heading into what may be his final fight.
With Sonnen’s signing, Ortiz has quickly refocused on him for his next fight. It’s a fight that Sonnen also wants and would be trash-talk nirvana for fans. Ortiz also feels its a good match-up for him, as he tries to complete his current contract with a victory, having failed to take the light heavyweight title from Liam McGeary a year ago.
“I think Chael makes the most sense,” said Ortiz. “He can sell the fight and I see it as redemption. It’s a perfect style match-up for me.”
— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) September 16, 2016
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