Chael Sonnen Remains Favourite To Defeat Tito Ortiz Despite Lengthy Absence From The SportPublished on January 21st, 2017 4:07 pm EST
On Saturday night, Chael Sonnen and Tito Ortiz will square off in the main event of Bellator 170.
The last time that we saw Chael Sonnen was on November 16th, 2013, when he was soundly defeated by Rashad Evans at UFC 167. Sonnen was supposed to square off against Wanderlei Silva after that, though issues with both Sonnen and Silva resulted in that fight getting derailed.
After testing positive for numerous banned substances, there was a great deal of doubt as to whether or not Sonnen would ever fight again. Sonnen, seemingly content to perform his duties on ESPN and his podcast, seemingly had no great desire to return to fighting, as he was carving himself out a nice career in a post-UFC environment.
Money talks, however, and Bellator was able to lure the "Bad Guy" out of retirement for a high profile fight against Tito Ortiz.
Chael Sonnen is the favorite against Tito Ortiz, but I can't help but think that the oddsmakers aren't properly accounting for Sonnen's lengthy absence from the sport.
After all, Sonnen is 39 years old and hasn't fought in over three years. Ortiz, while approximately the same age, has remained fairly active and appears to be in phenomenal shape. Sonnen, on the other hand, looks much softer than he has in the past. It will be interesting to see the impact of Sonnen's move away from performance enhancing drugs when he arrives in the cage on Saturday night against Ortiz.
Overcoming a lengthy absence is tough enough to do when you are in your 20s - just ask Dominick Cruz.
When you are approaching the age of 40, however, successfully returning after a nearly 3 1/2 year absence seems pretty much impossible. Combine that with the fact that Sonnen has been caught taking performance enhancing drugs in the past and you have a recipe for a potentially bad night on Saturday for Sonnen.
Ortiz, on the other hand, has already announced that this will be his last fight and will surely be looking to go out on a high note. Ortiz seems extra motivated for this fight, while Sonnen has been cracking jokes.
This may very well be the last fight for both men on Saturday night - at the very least, it should be an entertaining tilt with some interesting post-fight banter.
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