Former UFC middleweight and light-heavyweight title challenger Chael Sonnen makes his Bellator MMA debut on January 21st at Bellator 170, when he takes on ex-UFC light-heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz at the famed Forum in Inglewood, California.
It will be the first time that the two veterans have faced each other inside the cage and under the unified rules of MMA, but Sonnen and Ortiz are actually old rivals.
Long before the pair added punches, kicks, elbows, knees and submissions to their combat repertoires, they competed against other as college wrestlers. It was a match-up that lasted a matter of seconds but seemingly had a lasting effect on Ortiz.
During an appearance on Australian MMA podcast Submission Radio in September, ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ revealed how that bout has lingered long in his memory.
“I have been wanting to get my payback on Chael Sonnen for a while now,” said Ortiz. “And this is not in fighting-wise but in collegiate wrestling. We wrestled against each other in college and he pinned me in 30 seconds on my birthday. I got caught in a headlock, got put on my back and he almost choked me out, unconscious, and he pinned me – he won the match. And I’ve never forgotten that match.”
Now, with a little less than a month remaining before their first MMA bout, FloWrestling have made that brief encounter between Sonnen and Ortiz available on YouTube.
You can watch the entire thing below…