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Tito Ortiz: Chael Sonnen ‘talks and talks and has never done anything in this sport besides talk’

The former UFC champion recounted his Bellator feud with Chael Sonnen, and why Sonnen so particularly got under his skin.

Tito Ortiz has a fight on his hands. He’s taking on former WWE champion Albert Del Rio in the Combate Americas cage on December 7th in Hidalgo, TX. Ahead of the bout, however, Ortiz sat down with DirecTV’s Rich Eisen Show to talk about his past fighting career and its many memorable rivalries. Ortiz spoke about his “toughest” opponent (Randy Couture), and the man he most enjoyed talking smack about (Ken Shamrock).

But if there have been highlight rivalries, there must have been lowlights too? A fighter Ortiz just really didn’t like at all? There was, and his name is Chael Sonnen.

“Chael Sonnen. That guy he just . . . I dislike that man,” Ortiz said (transcript via MMA Fighting). “He’s just something else. Some who talks and talks and talks and has never done anything in this sport besides talk. That’s what he does for a living. He should’ve stayed to that and I guess he is staying to it [since] he’s retired now.

“He said some very personal things about me and I’m a very emotional man, I’m a very loyal man, and when you talk about a person’s family I take it to heart. It’s my blood and I kind of let him have it a little bit. If people go on YouTube and watch Tito Ortiz Uncaged, he said a couple things about me and was talking about me putting on my championship belt and I had to let him have it, full bore. It wasn’t just a little, it was full bore. I put him out for who he really was and he never said another word about me.”

If it’s hard to imagine Chael Sonnen ever staying silent about a former foe, Ortiz is no exception to the rule. In fact, Sonnen even had a response to this interview, posting on Twitter, “You’ve got a ‘fight’ coming up in, like, 3 weeks & you’re STILL talkin’ about ME???” Sonnen wrote, adding that Ortiz should “Just admit you tapped, get it off your conscience.”

‘The American Gangster’ has long claimed that Ortiz “verbally tapped” during their bout, and that that was why he let go of his guillotine submission and was submitted himself shortly afterward.

“He verbally tapped, and I never said anything about it,” Sonnen said on a 2017 episode of his podcast You’re Welcome! (transcript via MMA Fighting). “And the reason was, he quit the sport five seconds later. He quit the sport five seconds after I tapped and he quit the sport a minute and five seconds after he tapped. There was no rematch. There was nothing to build and no reason to tell the real story.”

Of course, Ortiz’s retirement lasted only a few months, with him returning to the cage for a trilogy bout with longtime UFC rival Chuck Liddell in November of 2018. Ortiz’s bout against Del Rio will be his first since beating Liddell last year. However, Ortiz recently told Bloody Elbow that he signed a three-fight two-year contract with Combate Americas. So fans can most likely expect to see him in the cage at least a couple more times.