The 41-year-old MMA legend Tito Ortiz (18-12-1) is gearing up to settle 20-year-old score with Chael Sonnen (29-14-1) at Bellator 170 on Saturday. This will also be the last time “The People’s Champ” will enter the cage. For Ortiz, this will also be a chance for redemption if he is able to conquer Sonnen.
This won’t be the first time the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion will come face to face with “The American Gangster”. Both met at a college wrestling match in 1988, where Sonnen came up with a surprise win. Now 20 year later, in his final fight, Ortiz only has revenge on his mind.
Recalling that fight Sonnen is humble even in victory. “I didn’t think I would’ve put him away in the wrestling match in under one minute. I caught him in a position. If he caught me in that position, it would’ve gone the other way. I’m a little surprised that he remembered it,” Sonnen added.
Out of all the losses, Ortiz still remembers that fight like yesterday. “I’m not really a religious person, but I believe in things happening for a reason,” Ortiz said. “And I think God gave me the opportunity to redeem myself.”
Ortiz believes Sonnen won’t try to box with him and will try to take the fight on the mat, where he succeeded two decades ago. “He beat me back in college and humiliated me and just embarrassed me.”
“I’m not gonna lose. There is no possibility that I will lose,” Ortiz said. “He’s gonna have to kill me to beat me — 100 percent. If he catches me in a submission, I’m going out. I’m not tapping. I hope he’s ready. I hope he’s ready for war. I hope he’s ready to die for his cause. I’m willing to die for that win.”
However, Sonnen believes this time the fight will be much longer. This won’t be an easy fight for Sonnen though, as he will be entering the cage after a gap of three years.
Bellator 170 airs at 9 p.m. EST on Saturday, Jan 21.