Chael Sonnen to Make Bellator MMA Debut Against Tito Ortiz in January

By Mike Sloan Oct 18, 2016

Two of the most notorious trash talkers in mixed martial arts history will lock horns on Jan. 21 at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, just outside Los Angeles.

ESPN.com reported that former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz will fight Chael Sonnen in the main event of a Bellator event -- likely Bellator 170 -- in a matchup that the entire MMA world knew was going to happen, but didn’t know when.

Ortiz, once the most feared brawler in all of MMA while he reigned over the UFC’s 205-pound division, has been a shell of his former self for years as he’s battled a myriad of injuries and had countless surgeries on his back and neck. “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” last competed at Bellator 142 last September where he was submitted by Liam McGeary via inverted triangle choke in a bid for Bellator’s light heavyweight title.

Sonnen has been even more inactive as the two-time winner of the Jim Rome Show’s “Smack-Off” hasn’t fought in over three years. The former UFC middleweight title challenger was knocked out by former champ Rashad Evans in the first at UFC 167 and from there, “The American Gangster” has been embroiled in controversy surrounding repeated failed urinalyses, which led to a two-year suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission and Sonnen eventually retiring from MMA.

Bellator did not unveil any other bouts for the event, which will be televised live on Spike.

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