UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar Comes Out of Retirement, Follows Tito Ortiz to Bellator MMA

August 27, 2014
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Stephan Bonnar vs Jon Jones UFC 94Bellator MMA on Wednesday announced that it has signed Stephan Bonnar to a contract that includes fighting and the possibility of on-air commentating and analysis.

Bonnar (15-8) retired after losing to Anderson Silva at UFC 153 and testing positive for Drostanolone, an anabolic steroid, following the fight. That was nearly two years ago.

According to Bellator officials, he is expected to fight live on Spike TV later this year. Although they fell short of announcing an opponent, rumors have focused on Bonnar stepping into the cage with fellow UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz, a rumor he bolstered in his first comments since signing with Bellator.

SEE ALSO: Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (video)

“I want everyone to know I’m coming out of retirement because it’s time to free the MMA world of the virus that’s known as Tito Ortiz,” Bonnar said. “We’ve been suffering through his boring fights for too many years, and it’s about time that someone beats it out of him once and for all.”

Referencing Bonnar’s landmark fight with Forrest Griffin in the inaugural season finale of The Ultimate Fighter, which took place on Spike TV, newly minted Bellator president Scott Coker explained the decision to bring Bonnar out of retirement.

“Stephan is a guy that has been a huge part of this sport and we are excited have him part of the roster,” Coker said. “He was one half of probably the greatest and one of the most important fights in MMA history, and it happened on Spike.

“When you look at our light heavyweight division, with names like Rampage, Tito, King Mo, Emanuel Newton and others, there are a lot of fights Stephan can be involved in. Big fights against big names. After talking to Stephan, I know that’s what he wants, and we want to provide that to our fans.”

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  • T1000

    Out with Eddie and in with Stephan? Coker’s gonna use up all his Strikeforce credit pretty quickly…

    • shakejunt

      and they released attila…

  • odeh91

    Zuffa bought Bellator

  • TheCerealKiller

    “Big fights against big names” “names like Rampage, Tito, King Mo, Emanuel Newton and others” – Someone explain to Coker what a big name is please! Add Bonnar to the washed up cast at Bellatard.

    • Joe Dog

      Put the above mentioned lot all in a Royal Rumble. Last guy standing wins. Who ya bettin’ on?

  • Mark McDowall

    Welcome to Bellator…The MMA version of the Senior PGA Tour.

  • brad king

    If Bonnar can capture championship in Bellator by whupping the aforementioned; I can see him then screaming for a Jones vs Bonnar II

    • MR. Guesty

      What’s interesting is that the Jones Bonnar fight showed us that, long before Gus, Jones doesn’t do quite as well when he doesn’t have his staggering reach and height advantages. Yes, it was years ago and Jones is much better now. Nevertheless, Jones didn’t walk through Bonnar like he was doing to his other competition even then. Even though it wasn’t awarded to him, Bonnar got the best of Jones in one round, which no one else was able to accomplish until Machida.

  • drkdisciple

    Wow another has been joins Bellator! I truly believe its only a question of time before the names Ken Shamrock and Tank Abbott pop up.

  • shakejunt

    obviously just trying to hype a fight, but it’s not grounded. tito’s last fight was beyond exciting. i never knew i could find enjoyment in seeing tito win.

    • David Huenecke

      What? Where he beat up a guy who fights at 185. It was nice to see him win again but I wouldn’t say it was exciting.

      • Mark McDowall

        A guy who fights at 185…but is the size of a WW.

      • shakejunt

        i understand that there was a weight difference, but i fully expected tito to fold early the way he was hyping that fight. seeing him come out of nowhere, finish their mw champ, and help destroy whatever credibility bellator had left was amusing.

  • insane187288

    it is funny how he says the “big” names hahahahaha

  • Joeyjoejoejrshabidu

    What happened to Bonnar always having a job with the UFC?

  • snapdad

    bellator is like the special Olympics of mma.

  • Lucas Freire

    “Rampage, Tito, King Mo, Emanuel Newton AND OTHERS”

    Nope. Couldn’t remember anyone else

  • George Sperry

    Don’t they test for steroids in Bellator?
    Looks like Bellator intends to be the “Seniors” circuit.