Bellator is kicking off their 2017 schedule of events with a bang as Bellator 170 takes place in Inglewood, California on January 21st and two of the biggest names on their roster headline the card: Tito Ortiz vs. Chael Sonnen. The promotion held a pre-fight conference call which had plenty of zingers from both marquee fighters.

“I’ve been at work now for three years,” Ortiz started, taking a swipe at the fact Sonnen has been inactive since losing to Rashad Evans in 2013. “I came from the UFC and Bellator gave me a chance to reinvigorate my career and I want to leave on my own terms. I want to leave respectfully.

“Scott Coker has done an amazing job with the company already and I sat back, thinking about what would be my last fight. All of a sudden, I’m watching Bellator on Spike TV and Chael Sonnen comes screaming out, calling me a coward and saying that he wants to fight me and I swear there has never been a bigger smile on my face.”

Ortiz believes Sonnen is coming into this fighter with the wrong state of mind and looks to bow out of the sport with another signature win.

“Chael says he’s fighting because he’s jealous and that’s the wrong way to come into a fight,” Ortiz says. “I’m going in to get redemption and to me Chael is my enemy. I hope Chael’s in great shape because when I’m on top of him, he’s going to s**t himself.

“I’m going to throw my elbows through his face and, like I said, this is no joke. This is serious to me because my family’s watching, my kids are watching, and all of my fans are watching. I’ve given so much for this and I’ve sacrificed everything. I sacrificed my Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my New Year’s for this.”

It didn’t take long for Sonnen to respond to Ortiz and even dismissed the fight altogether stating he signed to the promotion to get the opportunity to fight another legend, Wanderlei Silva.

“Man, it’s painful,” Sonnen said. “It was painful just listening to him read through that list of notes. He just rattled off all of his bullets right there in one answer and I think he asked to go to the bathroom during it, which was a little weird. I don’t care, I never thought about Tito Ortiz.

“I didn’t come to this organization to fight Tito Ortiz. I’ve been chasing Wanderlei Silva around, but Wanderlei is busy until the summer. They called me and asked if I’d fight Tito on January 21 and I didn’t have anything else going on, so I said yes.”

Ortiz referenced his resume, which does include UFC championships, and believes it’s going to be a bloody night for Sonnen.

“This guy knows that he bit off a little more than he can chew,” Ortiz said. “I’ve been through 20 years of competition, won world titles, and stepped into that cage over and over again. The proof is in the pudding. I’m sitting here listening to the tone that Chael has and it sounds like he’s drowning and on January 21, he’s going to be drowning in his own blood.”

The fighter known as ‘The American Gangster’ had one more zinger left and it was directed at Ortiz’s apparent lack of promotional material on the call. “I told you he was out of bullets,” Sonnen said “I warned you ahead of time!”