Tito Ortiz Eyes Light Heavyweight Title Fight With Ryan Bader In 2019

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Tito Ortiz has always been one step ahead of the game when it comes to business. Even at 44 years old, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” knows the right moves.

Ortiz didn’t waste much time. Shortly after Ryan Bader defeated Fedor Emelianenko last Saturday (Jan. 26, 2019) night to become the promotion’s first ever “double-champ”, Ortiz took to social media to lay out his plans for 2019.

So I tune up fight with “chale” @ChaelSonnen than take the title from the champ @RyanBader. @BellatorMMA #2019

Of course, Bader will have a say in who he fights next. And if his comments to reporters backstage after his victory at Bellator 214 are any indication, he is more than open to a fight with Ortiz. Provided Ortiz “proves himself” in the cage.

“Hell, yeah,” Bader told reporters after the Paramount and DAZN-streamed headliner. “After I won the title, I was bugging him. He was at the bar, we were both there, and I was like, ‘Hey, you coming back, you coming back?’ He’s like ‘I’m done, man. I’m done.’ So, yeah, that’d be fun. He has to come back and definitely prove himself. Obviously, that’s a fight I don’t dwell on. But a fight I want to get back, all my losses. It’d be a fun a fight.”

Ortiz might not be the most attractive opponent for Bader but it’s not surprising that the sports newest “double-champ” would like the chance to avenge a previous loss. That, after all, is an opportunity not too often received.

“I would love it,” Bader said then. “I’m not a (expletive)-talking guy. I respect everyone in this sport. If I have to hear that name, and, ‘You’re pretty good – but you lost to Tito Ortiz back in 1994.’ That one I would like to get. If there’s one fight I would like to get back, it would be that one, for sure. I would love to fight him for sure. I’d put the belt on the line and everything if he wants to come in. That fight intrigues me.”

All this talk could be for not, however, as Bellator President Scott Coker seemed lukewarm to the promotion resigning “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy.”

“We have not had those conversations,” Coker said. “George, his manager, has reached out and we said, ‘Yeah, let’s talk after this fight is over.’ But we’ll see – fighting Chael, he’s already done that. And to me, like, why would you want to rehash that?

“And retirement after retirement – but, you know, if he wanted to fight again would we fight him? I’m not sure. That’s something we would decide if the opportunity came our direction. But we’re not that far down the road.”

Let us know what you think. Should Bellator re-sign Ortiz with the hopes of him challenging for the light heavyweight title sometime in 2019? Or should Bellator look for more suitable challengers?

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