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Morning Report: Stephan Bonnar denies Tito Ortiz' claims of spying, explains how disagreement with Dana White led him to Bellator

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Greasin'? Fine. Questionable hand wraps? Sure. But deep cover espionage? Perhaps you were correct to balk at the notion.

After Tito Ortiz claimed earlier this week that he had not only conspired to have his Bellator 131 opponent signed by the promotion, but to have planted a mole into his training camp, Stephan Bonnar isn't buying it.

"That's hilarious," Bonnar told Severe MMA of the claims. "He's just fishing for something. The bottom line is [wrestling coach] Paul Herrera is not working with him. Paul Herrera's working with me on my wrestling defense and what Tito's good at.

"I could watch Tito's fights. I know them all. I know his double leg, his underhook to knee tap. We worked on defending his game. If it is true, it doesn't matter because my wrestling got a lot better working with Paul Herrera. No one else can be in the cage with Tito."

Scoffing at the idea that Ortiz orchestrated a plot to fight him on his own terms as a dig at UFC president Dana White, Bonnar doesn't believe Ortiz would even be capable.

"He is full of s**t," said Bonnar. "And that stuff he said about Dana White, too? Like, [He] wanted the fight to be in the UFC and he masterminded it. He's so full of s**t. Tito's too dumb to pull any of that anyway."

Bonnar's last fight in the UFC happened to be a 2012 non-title, main-event against then-champion Anderson Silva at UFC 153, but says he accepted retirement after 'not seeing eye to eye' with White over his future.

According to Bonnar, White refused to book him against higher profile names once he gave up the light-heavyweight title pursuit in favor of marquee fights.

"I accepted that and moved on with my life," said Bonnar. "But then Bellator gave me a ring and music to my ears. This is the kind of fight that sparks my interest.

"It's a big fight. It's what I wanted. I can't ask for anything more. It's a blessing. I'm getting paid money to punch Tito Ortiz, probably the biggest a**hole the sport's ever known. Someone's going to pay me to do that? That's truly a blessing."

Bonnar faces Ortiz Nov. 15 in the main event at Bellator 131.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

Didn't take long. ESPN has hired Chael Sonnen as its new MMA analyst. 'He has paid for the mistakes that he has made, and he's moving forward.'

Not so fast. Bellator announced Tuesday that Wanderlei Silva will not be able to participate in a promotional event 'due to prior contractual obligations.'

No. 3 vs. No. 14. Rafael dos Anjos doesn't think Nate Diaz deserves to fight him at UFC on FOX 13. 'I'm looking forward beating him and getting my title shot.'

All clear. Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar pass random drug tests prior to Bellator 131.

Angry Eagle. Khabib Nurmagomedov jokingly suggests he will beat up all Americans for the sanctions imposed on Russia. 'There are so many foreign fighters who can and must be beaten.'

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MEDIA STEW

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UFC 180 embedded episode 1.

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UFC 179 Fight Motion.

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Viewer submission from Inside MMA.

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Robin Black's breakdown of Mark Hunt.

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Phuket Dreaming Episode 6 featuring Cris Cyborg and Tito Ortiz.

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Free Fight: Robbie Lawler vs. Matt Brown.

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Long watches.

Countdown to Tito vs. Bonnar

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TWEETS

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Bonus buddies.

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All the Doritos.

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Dillashaw as Brad?

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Get well soon.

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Congrats.

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Outstanding.

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The struggle.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Oct. 11 2014)

Hacran Dias vs. Darren Elkins at UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Dollaway

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via HerrDannyboy.

Why 2013 Kicked this MMA Fan's @ss Part 10: October: We have Science!

Preamble

In terms of raw violence, severe concussions and outright ridiculous moments, more shit happened in October 2013 than all of 2014 combined.

As to how my ass was kicked once again this month: I was still bitter from the Anderson loss to Weidman at the time and was hoping Junior would provide me and my wallet with a genuine feel good moment by reclaiming the Heavyweight title.

The exact opposite happened.

***

We start off the month with UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields, live from Barueri Brazil and free on Fox - a gambler's dream as it's mostly Brazilian vs non Brazilian.

Result

Raphael Assuancao split decisions T.J. Dillishaw in a close, Fight of the Night-worthy performance.

Leglock idiot savant Rousimar Palhares manages to sink in his trademark heel hook on Mike Pierce in just 31 seconds.

Despite his opponent tapping, tapping on the ref, sending out a "Tap" tweet and Morse code rendition on the canvas and screaming the word: "Tap" multiple times, Toquinho would apply more torque to the hold until he was pried off by the official.

...

Check out the rest of the post here.

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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.