Chael Sonnen’s opponent for Bellator debut announced
Chael Sonnen, former UFC title challenger and recent Bellator signee, has finally received an opponent after signing with the promotion weeks ago.
Sonnen will take on Tito Ortiz in a light heavyweight bout in January, 2017, according to Inside MMA:
— Inside MMA (@InsideMMAaxstv) October 1, 2016
While the bout was just officially announced on Saturday, Sonnen immediately called out ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ upon signing with Bellator on September 15.
“Tito is a legend,” Sonnen said at a recent conference call. “Tito is great. Tito is even a friend of mine, but the bottom line is, he’s been around and I was jealous for a long time. Jealousy is a hell of a thing. There’s a reason it’s one of the deadly sins.”
“Tito was on TV and having the crowd cheer, doing the appearances, doing all these things that I fantasized and wanted to do. And there really never an opportunity to go against him.”
“We were in the same division in college, same weight class, same conference,” he said. “I’d see him around at the events. I still see him around at the events, but he looks at me the same way I look at him. I look at him like, ‘Tito, you know I could whip your ass’. And he gives me that exact same look.”
Sonnen called out Tito Ortiz just two days after signing with Bellator. For his part, Ortiz was quite enthusiastic about the match-up, tweeting at the time:
— Tito Ortiz (with the blue check) (@titoortiz) September 16, 2016
— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) September 17, 2016
Although Sonnen has fought the majority of his career at 185 pounds, he finished his career in the UFC at light heavyweight, where he lost in a title fight against then-champ Jon Jones. Sonnen’s seminal win at 205 pounds was a first round submission victory over ‘Shogun’ Rua in 2013. He hasn’t fought since a TKO loss to Rashad Evans back at UFC 167.
Who do you see winning in a fight between Chael Sonnen and Tito Ortiz? Sound off in the comments section, PENN Nation!