I haven’t talked much about mixed martial arts lately – mainly because I haven’t been into it as much as I used to be. When you work at a job like I do, your time is pulled in numerous directions – and that’s a good thing. There have been numerous news bits coming up in MMA – one of which was Bellator announcing that former UFC greats Chael Sonnen and Tito Ortiz will collide at Bellator 170, scheduled for Jan. 21, 2017.
Sonnen left the UFC earlier this year and signed with Bellator – resulting in Ortiz calling out the American Gangster. In the release, Bellator called this fight one “that fans thought they would never see.” That’s kind of true because Sonnen’s and Ortiz’s paths never crossed in the UFC. Ortiz was on his way out the door while Sonnen was chasing Anderson Silva and the middleweight title. There were opportunities for them to fight but the thought never came up. Leave it to Bellator to once again put on a match that fans have asked or – or at least a bout that people are asking “why didn’t we think of this before?”
I’m happy for Ortiz and Sonnen to have the opportunity to make headlines. While the build up to this fight will be tremendous because Ortiz plays great headgames and Sonnen is the best trash talker in all of combat sports and Bellator knows how to promote a fight. That said, I’m going to hold off in saying this bout will be a barn burner. We’ve seen Bellator deliver big matches that looked like they would deliver on paper – only to stink up the place.
Both Sonnen and Ortiz are older and have taken a lot of beatings over the years and I wonder if it’s going to slow them down. if this match was booked when both guys were in their prime, it would be a classic between two top wrestlers. But who knows I may be wrong – I’m hoping that I’ll be wrong.
If I had to make a prediction, I’m going with Ortiz to win. If he can get Sonnen to the ground and keep him there, he could pull off a submission or unleash the devastating ground and pound.
More bouts for this card are expected to be announced. I don’t know if Bellator will try and put any other big names on the marquee because people will watch for the main event.