MMA legends Tito Ortiz and Chael Sonnen are set to compete in the Octagon at Bellator 170 on January 21.
It will not be the first time that the two have competed as Sonnen holds a victory over Ortiz from their college wrestling days.
However, with Sonnen holding the edge in competition amongst each other, their early professional MMA careers got off to very different starts as Ortiz started his career in the UFC where he was a huge star for the promotion in their early days while Sonnen went through the multiple organizations before making it into the UFC.
Now, with both fighters under the Bellator MMA promotion, Sonnen explains why a win over Ortiz in mixed martial arts means the world to him.
“When Tito went on to become a pro, I clung to his career,” Sonnen said in the Bellator 170: In Focus video. “Tito would go out and get a win and I felt a little bit attached to that. Tito was selling tickets. Tito was a big deal. Tito was on the poster.
“My dad was a Tito fan and we’d talk about that. We’d talk about what makes somebody successful in terms of marketing, in terms of getting an emotion from fans, being what a promoter wants to work with. We would talk about that stuff,” Sonnen explained.
“When my dad died, the last thing I ever said to him, I said to him, “I’m going to beat Tito Ortiz and I’m going to win the world championship,” Sonnen said holding tears back. “That’s the only promise I never . . . That’s the only promise I never kept. But, I’m going to make it right on January 21st.”
Will Chael Sonnen be able to get his win over Tito Ortiz for his father at Bellator 170? Give us your pick for the fight in the comment section!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on January 12, 2017.