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.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
All clear. Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar pass random drug tests prior to Bellator 131.
UFC 180 embedded episode 1.
UFC 179 Fight Motion.
Viewer submission from Inside MMA.
Robin Black's breakdown of Mark Hunt.
Phuket Dreaming Episode 6 featuring Cris Cyborg and Tito Ortiz.
@Cowboycerrone pleasure bro!!!!— Dana White (@danawhite) November 12, 2014
Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) November 12, 2014
All the Doritos.
Fabricio Werdum (@FabricioWerdum) November 12, 2014
Jessica Eye (@jessicaevileye) November 11, 2014
Dillashaw as Brad?
Get well soon.
Andrei Arlovski (@AndreiArlovski) November 11, 2014
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James Krause (@TheJamesKrause) November 11, 2014
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Andy Ogle (@thelittleaxe) November 12, 2014
If you mix a lil ketchup & hot sauce into your ramen noodles, it taste exactly like #thestruggle— Jordan Johnson (@doublejmma) November 9, 2014
Keyboard warriors these days .... Smh— Kelvin Gastelum (@KelvinGastelum) November 11, 2014
Bye bye blue check mark....... :/— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocicufc) November 12, 2014
IVE BEEN BAM BOOZLED!!!! I went to make some hot GREEN tea... Boiled my water, drooped in my GREEN tea... http://t.co/UzOlh3qxme— Corey Anderson UFC (@CoreyA_MMA) November 11, 2014
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Fuck you Hot Topic for only selling Sailor Moon singlets in women's cuts! pic.twitter.com/oZuWwzanEn— Ben 'Manimal' Wall (@BenWallMMA) November 12, 2014
Well I can sign in to Fight Pass, everything is just blocked. Ugh. Why Brazil why??— Charlie Brenneman (@SpaniardMMA) November 5, 2014
Bec Rawlings (@RowdyBec) November 10, 2014
C'MON MAN JUST GIMME MY FCKN DOG BACK... http://t.co/4fu1Z6YYtP— MAYHEM (@mayhemmiller) November 10, 2014
Never forget pic.twitter.com/Kr8LQFyiXm— Nick Newell (@NotoriousNewell) November 9, 2014
Announced yesterday (Oct. 11 2014)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via HerrDannyboy.
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.
Raphael Assuancao split decisions T.J. Dillishaw in a close, Fight of the Night-worthy performance.
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.
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.