Having moved on from their days of competing in mixed martial arts professionally, Ortiz and Sonnen have continued to trade verbal jabs at each other.
Ortiz had been trying to re-ignite their feud in an attempt to lure Sonnen out of retirement. On Aug. 15, ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ took to his Twitter to issue a challenge to his adversary, calling on an old promise Sonnen had made to his father about beating Ortiz and becoming the champion before his passing.
“@ChaelSonnen don’t be scared homie,” Ortiz said. “Now you have a chance to keep the promise to your dad. #Ortizvscheal2.”
He continued his chase of Sonnen but to no avail. Although Sonnen responded to Ortiz, he did not give a clear answer on the potential opportunity and instead chose to roast him.
Ortiz Confirmed He’ll Fight Sonnen
In an appearance on “The Adam Corolla Show,” Ortiz confirmed that he will be fighting Sonnen in a rematch in February 2023 under the newly founded Freedom Fight Night promotion.
“I’ll be competing one last time in the beginning of February,” Ortiz said. “Tito Ortiz vs Chael Sonnen number two will be happening for Freedom Fight Night. I’m excited. It’ll be in mixed martial arts, not boxing, and at 205lbs.”
Ortiz was last seen in action against the legendary mixed martial artist and former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva in a boxing match that ‘The Spider’ won with a vicious knockout. The 47-year-old California native will make his comeback to MMA after a three-year-long hiatus, with his latest outing being a win over Alberto Rodriguez in Dec. 2019.
Sonnen has not yet responded to Ortiz’s comments supporting the matchup.
Ortiz & Sonnen Are Longtime Rivals
The former UFC light heavyweight champion enjoyed a successful career after kicking off his professional mixed martial arts career under the banner in May 1997. Ortiz competed for the organization for over 15 years before leaving the UFC, where he dropped eight of his last nine outings with a single win coming over Ryan Bader. He had hit a skid that saw him move out on a three-fight losing streak.
Following his exit from the UFC, Ortiz joined Bellator, where he shared a fierce rivalry with Sonnen. ‘The American Gangster’ had Ortiz enraged with his signature trash talk, making for some entertaining highlights.
The two got the chance to settle their differences inside the octagon at Bellator 170 in Jan. 2017. Ortiz managed to come out on top of the contest with a first-round finish of Sonnen by submission. In a hilarious post-fight analysis, Sonnen jokingly claimed Ortiz had verbally tapped and argued another bout would not have a similar outcome.
“And yeah, we are one apiece. I never got going. That guy is easy work for me. I would put that guy away in less than two minutes,” Sonnen said via MMA Fighting. “It would be a completely different fight. It bothers me. It bothers me to come out here and say that I’d clean a guy up in two minutes that just tapped me out. I realize how insane that sounds but the guy was gone.”