Hard to believe a fight introduced with the help of a masked man could get any more strange, but here we are.
Ahead of his headlining bout opposite fellow Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar Saturday at Bellator 131, former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz claims he not only snuck a mole into his opponent's training camp, but pulled the strings to have him signed by the promotion in the first place.
"And sneakily on my side, I got (fighter manager) Dave Thomas to sign [Bonnar]," Ortiz told MMA Weekly. "Dave Thomas signed him and we had to think of something to make him believe that Dave Thomas doesn't like me, that Paul Herrera didn't like me. Paul Herrera was going to coach him. And Stephan Bonnar bit the line, hook and sinker. He thought in his own mind that all of his guys were against me and I fooled him."
Herrera, Ortiz' wrestling coach dating back to the early 90's at Huntington Beach High School, helped corner the former champ for his first-round submission victory over Alexander Shlemenko at Bellator 120 in May.
"And now it's a week out from the fight," said Ortiz. "I know how his training camp went. I know the ins and outs. So he just got baited. That's how bad I want to cave his face in."
"I know everything from the wrestling side of it," said Ortiz. "I know what he can and can't do through Paul Herrera, who his training partner is. I know how much he's been working on his takedown defense, what type of striking he's been doing."
Ortiz faces Bonnar Nov. 15 in the main event at Bellator 131.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Fortunes changed for five. Dave Meltzer explains how Luke Rockhold, Jake Matthews, Michael Bisping, Ovince St. Preux and John Lineker move forward following this past weekend's UFC Fight Nights in Australia and Brazil.
'I was pretty pissed.' Al Iaquinta was a bit disappointed about not getting a performance bonus after knocking out Ross Pearson. 'I think any other card, a fight like that, coming in and being the underdog, getting a win the way I got it...but, it is what it is, you know?'
'My body completely failed me.' Ian McCall discusses having to pull out of his co-main event bout in Brazil and John Lineker's hopes of getting a title show without fighting him first. 'I think that him trying to go around me is weird. We still have a date. We gotta dance, homie.'
Highlights from RFA 20.
Veterans using MMA to treat PTSD.
Conor McGregor video from Last Call.
Don't ever chest bump Pat Barry.
Somebody tell Shogun that it is a VERY bad idea to move down to 185. It is a total shark tank down here and we will all eat him up.— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) November 10, 2014
Dana White (@danawhite) November 10, 2014
Get well soon.
Post knee surgery and back into the grind !— Richy Walsh MMA (@RichyMMA) November 11, 2014
Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) November 10, 2014
Damn. (No need to click - animal related)
Congrats on Thor.
Longo in a clown suit. Just an idea, TTTHS.
We are now offering birthday parties. No more stressing out over bday activities, food or inventions.... http://t.co/psbBZFYX0L— Chris Weidman (@ChrisWeidmanUFC) November 10, 2014
Your move, McGregor.
Announced yesterday (Oct. 10 2014)
Marco Beltran vs. Marlon Vera at UFC 180
Masio Fullen vs. Alexander Torres at UFC 180
Fredy Serrano vs. Bentley Syler at UFC 180
Tim Elliott vs. Zach Makovsky at UFC Fight Night: Broomfield
Ray Borg vs. Chris Kelades at UFC Fight Night: Broomfield
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Graham Douglas.
I took a peek at the UFC website to check out this weekends PPV roster (and let me restate this), on this weekends PPV card. Am I missing something? Is there a glitch and some matchups are missing?
Here is my test for you. Go to UFC.com and look at the UFC 180 card. You tell me. In how many bouts do you see fighters that you know NOTHING about.
I follow this sport. I'm not a nerd who looks through stats to memorize names, but be assured that I can read and do read. Never have I seen this many bouts where I have NO CLUE who these fighters are. I could expect this on a Fight Pass card, but let me say this....
THIS IS A PPV CARD.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.