Bellator is looking to make a lot of noise in 2017 and will start that campaign strong with Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen.
The two MMA legends have been going at it in the media ever since the Jan. 21 fight was announced and the rivalry has been intensifying with every verbal jab landed.
In the lead-up to the main-event tilt, Ortiz has come out and said it will his last fight before he retires. Speaking earlier this week, he explained why Sonnen was the man that he had to face before signing off.
"I've been at work now for three years," Ortiz explained on a media conference call. "I came from the UFC, and Bellator gave me a chance to reinvigorate my career and I want to leave on my own terms. I want to leave respectfully. Scott Coker has done an amazing job with the company already, and I sat back, thinking about what would be my last fight.
"All of a sudden, I'm watching Bellator on Spike TV and Chael Sonnen comes screaming out, calling me a coward and saying that he wants to fight me, and I swear there has never been a bigger smile on my face. I was already getting ready to fight in November. I wasn't sure who my opponent was going to be, but I was getting in shape. I've been training now for almost four months, and this is probably one of the longest camps I've had and it's time to showcase my skills."
Ortiz believes that Sonnen is coming into the fight with the wrong mindset and believes it's going to play a big factor in the way the fight plays out. The former Bellator light heavyweight champion promises he's going to be ready for everything Sonnen brings on Jan. 21.
"Chael says he's fighting because he's jealous, and that's the wrong way to come into a fight," Ortiz explained. "I'm going in to get redemption, and to me Chael is my enemy. This is no game; this is nothing fun. This is what I do for a living. I train, and I go out to try and hurt my opponent.
"I know what I need to do. I need to defend the takedown, I need to watch out for the punches, I need to watch out for the guillotine. I know all of the moves that Chael has done and my job is to go in and destroy him."
But he wasn't finished there. Ortiz then ramped up the hype to the max and promised to to leave Sonnen hurting when he'd finished with him in two weeks' time.
"On January 21, two days before my birthday, I want to get the 'Fight of the Night,'" Ortiz said. "I hope Chael is in great shape, because when I'm on top of him, he's going to s**t himself. I'm going to throw my elbows through his face, and like I said, this is no joke. This is serious to me, because my family's watching, my kids are watching, and all of my fans are watching. I've given so much for this and I've sacrificed everything. I sacrificed my Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my New Year's for this.
"This guy knows that he bit off a little more than he can chew. I've been through 20 years of competition, won world titles and stepped into that cage over and over again. The proof is in the pudding. I'm sitting here listening to the tone that Chael has and it sounds like he's drowning, and on January 21, he's going to be drowning in his own blood."
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