Chael Sonnen talks Tito Ortiz, tragic loss of daughter, and more with Jim Rome

Saturday Night at Bellator 170 will be Chael Sonnen’s first fight in over three years when he’s set to face UFC Hall Of Famer Tito Ortiz in a Light Heavyweight bout at The Forum in Inglewood, California. On Wednesday, Sonnen joined The Jim Rome Show and talked Ortiz.

“I’m sore, I’m tired, I’m under the weather, I’m under trained, I’m under motivated and still tough enough to beat this guy,” Sonnen laughed. “All of it is true. I’m definitely sore and tired. It was tough preparation. I was sick last week, but I’m coming out of it really fast and now I’m feeling good and I’m expecting a good performance… what happens after that, who knows man. You can hit a home run sometimes and if the other guy hits a grand slam you come in second, but I will do my end of it.”

Sonnen has dubbed his fight with Ortiz the start of a ‘legends ass-whipping tour,’ for all the sports generational stars around his age, whom he viewed as overrated.

“Here’s my contention…Tito’s in the Hall of Fame, Tito’s a former world champion,” said Sonnen. “But the bottom line is, I beat him in the amateur’s, I beat him very quickly. He dropped out of school and six months later he was the UFC champion. I don’t contend he wasn’t a great fighter. But he wasn’t me, he’s not me now, he never would have been champion, Chuck Liddell never would have been champion. Chuck Liddell’s got to walk around with a haircut looking like he lost a bet. None of those guys would you ever heard of as being champions had I would have been in the organization and that is my contention and that has been my contention since the beginning of time. I didn’t get my break until I was 33-years old. I’ve told anybody that would listen I could beat those guys from the previous era. I was the baddest dude in the world I just couldn’t get my shot. And I’m either right or I’m not, but on January 21, easy way, or hard way, either way we are going to find out.”

Having a long history with The Jim Rome Show, and being a two-time Smack-Off champion, an annual competition to recognize the show’s best caller, Sonnen opened up about his personal tragedy last August, the death of his infant daughter Blauna. Her mother and Sonnen’s wife, Brittany, was infected with the bacteria listeria during pregnancy.

“That beautiful girl got her life cut short at six days old, that’s something I don’t understand, I’m never going to understand, but I have to accept,” Sonnen said. “It was one of those things, and we’re Catholic so we choose to believe, but it’s just that we don’t know for sure, but we choose to believe there’s another side and we will all be reunited. But yeah, it was so tough.”

Sonnen described the struggle he and Brittany had trying to find the correct diagnosis for her.

“Brittany was sick and we kept going to the doctors, we were at three different emergency rooms and four doctors in total,” Sonnen said. “And they kept telling us it’s dehydration and they kept putting an IV in her and rehydrating her and finally I had to get big and strong and I told the doctor, ‘Look, nobody knows more about hydration than me. Not even you doctors, you guys don’t ever see dehydration.’ I come from the one and only field where you have to make weight before you can do your job. If you tried to weigh anybody in in any other form of society before you let them work you’d be sued, I know all about dehydration. I wrote a book about dehydration. I said ‘This is not a dehydrated women, we have to stop with that…there has to be another diagnosis.’ They put an IV in her. They gave her another liter of saline and it was just so frustrating. And we finally got to the hospital when Blauna was born and the doctors ran a test and she has listeria. And had we known that the whole thing could have been prevented. I don’t blame anybody, but it was very frustrating to just keep being told dehydration.”

“I’m going ‘Guys, I exercise twice a day every single day, and I’m not dehydrated- how would my pregnant wife, who is essentially stationary right now, how would she have got dehydrated? Why do you keep using that term.’  It is thrown around so often in medicine and it is infuriating quite frankly, you may go your entire life and never meet a dehydrated person. It is a very very rare thing.”

The doctors were stubborn about their original diagnosis of Brittany, Sonnen said.

“They just argued with me. They’re just trained on their books,” Sonnen said. “They didn’t know what else was wrong with her. They couldn’t diagnose anything. And they just kept pointing to dehydration.”

 

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