After Stephan Bonnar confronted Tito Ortiz inside the cage at Bellator 123 with a masked Justin McCully at his side, it didn’t look as if the rivalry between the two UFC Hall of Fame fighters could get more bizarre. But it has.
The two face off in the the Bellator 131 main event on Saturday, and Ortiz recently said that he orchestrated Bonnar coming out of retirement, signing with Bellator, and planted a spy in his training camp. Bonnar believes Ortiz is full of it.
“He says he masterminded this whole plan like he didn’t want to fight in the UFC, but Dana wanted him so bad. Yeah right! I begged Dana for this fight. Tito wanted nothing to do with it. That’s the honest to God truth,” Bonnar told Knockout Radio.
“According to Tito, Dana White wanted this fight and I didn’t want to give in to the UFC. ‘So I lured him into Bellator by having my manager, Dave Thomas, sign him.’ Okay, you did? Then why did you get all butt hurt and fire him then? ‘It’s all a part of the plan I masterminded.’ He’s so full of (expletive).”
As far as Ortiz claiming to have placed a mole in his training camp, Bonnar believes Ortiz fabricated the story to protect his ego.
“That just shows a lot about Tito’s character, too. His ego can’t handle guys that he’s known for a long, long time want to see him get his ass kicked because he’s a scumbag,” said Bonnar. “I even thought to myself, even if it totally was true, it doesn’t’ matter. In the cage, it is just me and him.”
Bonnar’s distain for Ortiz began when he purchased the UFC 33 pay-per-view in 2001. Ortiz headlined the event against Vladimir Matyushenko, and Bonnar had to give refunds to friends who came over and pitched in to watch the fight card.
“I started disliking him when UFC 33 finally got back on pay-per-view. He had a snooze-fest against Matyushenko and paraded around the cage like he did something great. The whole card sucked, but he could have saved it. And no, he didn’t. He fought like a coward. Just held him down, it was 25 minutes of bore,” said Bonnar.
“And in Chicago, I had people over at my house. I was really excited in my little apartment. We were really excited for it. I was poor then. Had to charge everyone five bucks and I had people, I had to defend the sport to people. I had to say, no, you don’t understand, the sport is awesome. It’s the best sport ever. ‘I gave it a chance, that (expletive) was lame. The guy just laid on him for 25 minutes. Give me my five dollars back.’ That’s honestly where it started for me,” he explained.
Bonnar doesn’t plan on the Bellator 131 main event being anything like UFC 33.
“I like getting ugly. I like sitting and exchanging, trading. Just seeing how big the guy’s nut sack really is. I know Tito. I’m going to hit Tito once and he’s going to try to take me down,” said Bonnar. “But we’ll see. He says he’s going to stand and trade with me and slug it out and beat my ass and all that. Good. I really hope he tries to because the Tito I know just tries to get takedowns and hold you down.”