The difference between the two UFC Hall of Famers is that despite whatever limitations Ortiz had in the cage, he appeared to have taken his training seriously, and gave all of what he had left at Bellator 131 on Saturday night. Bonnar looked like he never should have entertained the thought of coming out of retirement.
While the fight seemed in slow motion, Ortiz moved forward, landed punches, scored takedowns, outwrestled Bonnar and was in control from bell to bell. Ortiz won on a split decision, getting two 30-27 scores, while one astounding score at the Valley View Casino Center went 29-28 in Bonnar's direction.
And while the fight obviously isn't going down as a classic, the Huntington Beach, Calif. native was the SoCal hometown favorite, and the crowd was kind, cheering Ortiz throughout.
"It's all about getting the rust out," said Ortiz (18-11-1). "I got some angles in, got the ring time in. "I have a little bit of respect that Bonnar came to fight, but that's it. Everyone saw his character you saw what type of person he is."
Bonnar (15-9) talked a huge game coming into the fight, trashing Ortiz's personal life and surrounding himself with Ortiz's former coaches and teammates. But he able to remotely back up his bluster in his first fight in two years, ending up battered and bloodied, and he knew it.
"It really wasn't all it was cracked up in my head to be," said Bonnar. "In my deluded head, I thought it would be fun to get my head cracked open, but in reality it sucked."