Chael Sonnen believes Tito Ortiz would never have been champion had he been around in the early years.
Sonnen and Ortiz are set to do battle at Bellator 170 on January 21, at the Forum in Inglewood, CA. The fight means something very different to both men. For Ortiz it’s an opportunity to leave the sport he helped build on top, but for Sonnen it is an opportunity to prove what he’s believed all along, that he’s better than Tito Ortiz and always has been.
“My skills are my skills and Tito’s skills are Tito’s skills, and one of us is better, but my contention from day one is that’s me,” Sonnen said during the Bellator 170 conference call. “My contention from day one is that I could have beat him and all the guys he beat and he wouldn’t have been champion if I would have been around and I am either right or I’m not, but I have been telling my friends and family and my coach this, so now it’s time to walk out and prove it. I am either going to go prove I was the best fighter in the world long before I was ever given my opportunity, or I wasn’t, but that is what this match means to me.”
Sonnen who is widely considered one of the best trash talkers in the business has for the most part been nothing but respectful of Ortiz and his contributions to the sport. He seems to have zero animosity for Ortiz. Jealousy yes, but no animosity.
“I am jealous of what Tito did and that is just the way it is,” Sonnen said. “I am happy for Tito, I was a big Tito fan and I will always be a Tito fan, but my contention isn’t going to change. I could have stopped him then and I will stop him now.”
Sonnen will get one opportunity to prove everything he wants to as Ortiz has said this will be the last fight of his long and storied career. You can watch Bellator 170 live on Spike TV, January 21.