Bellator has announced Tito Ortiz vs. Chael Sonnen will headline the Jan. 21 event in Los Angeles, Calif. which will air live on Spike TV.
More details and analysis to follow. Meanwhile, the following is Bellator’s full press release issued to MMATorch today:
SANTA MONICA, CALIF (October 19, 2016) – It’s a fight that many mixed martial arts fans thought they’d never see, but on January 21, 2017, both Tito Ortiz (18-12-1) and Chael Sonnen (28-14-1) will return to action inside the beautifully renovated Forum in Inglewood, Calif., to headline “Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen.” In college, the two met on the wrestling mat, in a matchup that Sonnen won by pinning Ortiz on his birthday. Now, Ortiz will have the opportunity to avenge that loss when the compete in the Bellator MMA cage on SPIKE.
Ticket information will be made available shortly. The event will be broadcast live and free on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com and the Bellator Mobile App. Additional main and preliminary card bouts will be announcing in the coming weeks.
Since shocking the world with his surprise signing with Bellator MMA last month, Sonnen has made it clear he wants to fight anyone and everyone – regardless of weight class, or anything else that could stand in his way. Sitting atop that list, is a name that has sat atop the sport of MMA practically since its inception, Tito Ortiz.
Not one to shy away from any sort of challenge, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” wasted zero time welcoming “The American Gangster” to the fray as only he can, by responding to Sonnen’s call-out with open arms on his social media account.
Sonnen spent a vast majority of his 43-fight career with the UFC, a run where he competed against names the likes of Jon Jones, Anderson Silva (2x), Rashad Evans, “Shogun” Rua, Demian Maia, Brian Stann, and current middleweight champion Michael Bisping. In addition to his exploits inside the cage, the West Linn, Ore., native has mastered the art of being in front of the camera, doing major broadcasting work for both ESPN and Fox Sports. Now, after a three-year hiatus from active MMA competition, Sonnen looks to add to his impressive resume by defeating Ortiz.
Known to the masses as “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” or “The People’s Champion” Tito Ortiz is a fan-favorite all over the world. The former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion has always been one of the toughest competitors in the cage, utilizing his wrestling background; Ortiz is a grinder who defended his title an impressive five times. Always with a flair for the dramatic, Ortiz had intense rivalries in the cage with guys like Ken Shamrock, Chuck Liddell, Wanderlei Silva, and Randy Couture. Most recently, Ortiz challenged current Bellator MMA 205-pound champion Liam McGeary at “Bellator: Dynamite 1.”