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Stephan Bonnar responds to Tito Ortiz, promises more surprises before their fight

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Esther Lin

SAN DIEGO - In the final days leading up to Bellator 131, it's been Tito Ortiz's turn to attempt mind games with Stephan Bonnar.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion arrived at the open workouts at a local Dave and Buster's on Wednesday while Bonnar, his opponent in Saturday night's main event at the Valley View Casino Center, went through a wrestling workout with Ortiz's former wrestling coach, Paul Herrera.

Wearing a San Diego Chargers hat and sunglasses, Ortiz, followed by his entourage, stopped at the edge of the mat and laid a mad-dog stare on Bonnar, getting the attention of everyone gathered.

Except Bonnar, that is, who kept on wrestling.

"No way, did he really?" Bonnar said after his workout, when asked if he caught Ortiz's attempt at intimidation. "Damnit, I miss all the good stuff. I would have had some fun with that if I knew."

It was the latest chapter in Ortiz's late-surge attempts to turn the tables on his adversary, one in which he claimed that he planted moles in Bonnar's camp in order to glean inside info on his fight camp.

"Yeah, sure, buddy," Bonnar scoffed. "Just ask the guy's he's talking about. Like either of us have any huge secrets these days. They'll tell you. Yeah, it's pretty weird, he set it all up. Whatever, regardless, Paul Herrera's got my wrestling going. He's got big, strong wrestlers, mimicking Tito and shooting and drilling, pushing me, getting him in shape. Even if Tito is right, which he's so full of s--, it's not like he's going to get anything."

Bonnar, of course, started all this back in September, by going live on Spike TV with a masked man who turned out to be former Ortiz training partner Justin McCully, and then ripping into Ortiz's personal life. While the approach was largely panned, Bellator 131 has an unmistakeable buzz heading into the weekend, indicating this is the sort of show people will tune in to on basic cable even as they claim they hate all the hype.

To that end, Bonnar promises that even though Ortiz is the one doing most of the yapping in these final days leading up to the fight, he's still got more tricks up his sleeve.

"Expect some more surprises," Bonnar said. "Between now and the fight, and maybe even afterwards. Just tune in."