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Last night, the closed a huge year with another massive night of fights. Their biggest competitor, have elevated their position in the industry considerably lately. They have signed some huge stars like Rory MacDonald, even legends like . Bellator have some exciting bouts lined up for the new year, let's take a look at what they have in store.

Since being cleared of a lengthy doping suspension, Chael Sonnen has been flaming everyone with the trash talk for which he is known best. One of the best talkers in the industry is cleared to compete and having another crack at taking over the fight game. Always one to shock the world, Sonnen surprised everyone with the announcement that he had signed with Bellator.

It just so happens that another legend of the industry fights for Bellator, . The two have an old score to settle as back in the day, Chael pinned Tito in an amateur wrestling match on his birthday. Although Tito Ortiz is now 41 years of age, this bout is being billed as 'The Huntington Beach Bad Boy' versus 'The Bad Guy'.

Sonnen will face Tito in his Bellator debut, after which he will apparently move up and down the weight divisions. The man himself has said that he will fight at 'gangsterweight' targeting fights against Rory MacDonald and light heavyweight champion, Phil Davis. Tito Ortiz versus Chael Sonnen goes down on the 21st of January 2017.

Bellator are following up that huge bout with a monumental heavyweight encounter on February 17th. The legendary Emelianko will face Matt 'Meathead' Mitrione. The latter is an extremely underrated fighter and another on the list of those that have done well since leaving the UFC.

If anything, he is bigger than ever before, he has found a niche as Bellator's top heavyweight. He has had two spectacular knockouts since joining the promotion but he will be tested soon by, arguably, one of the most decorated heavyweights of all time. 'The Last Emperor' is returning to western shores in search of conquest. Fedor is an iconic figure from the fledgling days of but is he too long in the tooth for Mitrione?

Some exciting bouts are on the way from both sides of the western MMA coin. Out of the potential match ups that could take place in 2017, which would you like to see? Rory MacDonald versus Chael Sonnen? Rory MacDonald versus Michael 'Venom' Page? Let me know in the comments section below!

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