clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Morning Report: Despite retirement, Tito Ortiz planning a rematch with Chael Sonnen

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Tito Ortiz is a legend of MMA. One of the first long-reigning champions in UFC history, Ortiz became one of the sport’s first big stars, built on the back of trash talk and blood feuds. And even at age 43, with the best years of his career behind him, Ortiz is still pioneering, being the first fighter to still be actively competing while being retired.

Retirements in combat sports, and MMA in particular, are notoriously short-lived, but Ortiz is taking it to a new level. Despite “retiring” two years ago when he submitted Chael Sonnen at Bellator 170, Ortiz recently took a revenge fight with Chuck Liddell, knocking out his former foe in the first round. Now, Ortiz is looking to settle affairs with Sonnen one more time, all while remaining retired.

“[Chael] started it,” Ortiz told TMZ Sports recently. “As Chuck started it. And Chuck only lasted what, four and a half minutes? He called me out man. I’m gonna stay in retirement. I’m still gonna stay retired, and I’m gonna smash Chael. I’m not gonna choke him, I’m not gonna submit him, I’m gonna smash him. I’ll put a show on for every one of the fans. That’s what I’m gonna do.”

Sonnen and Ortiz have been sniping at each other over social media recently, laying the groundwork for a rematch of their first bout, which was surprisingly non-competitive. But, after losing to Fedor Emelianenko in the semifinals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix, Sonnen is without an obvious next dance partner and Ortiz still carries some level of star power. Ortiz is only too happy to oblige him.

“This guy has a loud mouth,” Ortiz said. “I’m gonna shut him up. Like I say: I’m not gonna choke him, I’m not gonna submit him, I’m gonna pummel him for three rounds. And give the fans what they want to see, and that’s a great fight.”

As for where the proposed bout will happen, Ortiz’s brief time with Golden Boy MMA seems to be over, with “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” saying the fight would most likely come under the Bellator banner and that he is pushing for a fight at the Mecca, Madison Square Garden so he can make some more history.

“I don’t know [where],” said Ortiz. “I’ve never fought at Madison Square Garden, so possibly Madison Square Garden. That’ll be the first thing.

“I was the first UFC fighter – mixed martial artist – to ever fight in California. First one. First one to fight in Las Vegas. First one. First one to fight in Florida. First one. So, I’d like to just add to my repertoire of being able to go to Madison Square Garden and fight. Where the greatest have fought. People like Ali, people like Frazier, people like Foreman. Just to do something great for mixed martial arts, at the expense of Chael Sonnen.”


He’s back. After 30 months away, Cain Velasquez returns to ‘regain what he always knew was his’.

Thug Rose. Rose Namajunas to defend strawweight title against Jessica Andrade at UFC 237 in Brazil.

Good advice. Lauren Murphy talks manager horror story, advice for fellow fighters.

115. Mackenzie Dern forgoes move to flyweight division, will remain at strawweight.


Free fight.

Eryk Anders still salty about the Drake curse.

Joey Benz discussing the upcoming flyweight stuff and whether he’d fight TJ.

David vs. Goliath.


Heavy Hands. Giving out the 2018 Handies!

Bushido Talk. Discussing how stacked UFC 235 is.


Multilingual beef.

Other beef.


Tony is “weird flex but okay” made into a person.



Georges new diet sounds awful.


Pirate life.


Charles Oliveira (25-8, 1 NC) vs. David Teymur (8-1); UFC Fortalexa, Feb. 2.

Sinead Kavanagh (5-3) vs. Olga Rubin (5-0); Bellator 217, Feb. 23.

Walter Gahadza (17-3) vs. Ruben Crawford (16-3); Bellator 217, Feb. 23.

Richie Smullen (3-1-1) vs. Adam Gustab (3-3); Bellator 217, Feb. 23.

Richard Kiely (2-1) vs. Mikael Bucher (3-4); Bellator 217, Feb. 23.

John Redmond (7-13) vs. George Tokkos (4-0); Bellator 217, Feb. 23.

Polyana Viana (10-2) vs. Hannah Cifers (8-3); UFC 235, March 2.

Michelle Waterson (16-6) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (12-3); UFC Philadelphia, March 30.

Rose Namajunas (8-3) vs. Jessica Andrade (19-6); UFC 237, May 11.


At the end of all this, if you disregard his record completely, Chael might end up with the most impressive resume of opponents in MMA history. Just littered with Hall of Famers.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



Tito-Chael II, do you care?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Sure, why not.
    (626 votes)
  • 59%
    (917 votes)
1543 votes total Vote Now

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it! Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, and like us on Facebook!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting