The UFC Hall of Famer told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that he doesn't plan on coming out of retirement again unless there is a fight that really intrigues him. Bonnar fell by unanimous decision to Ortiz in the main event of Bellator 131 last November.
"Unless something really comes along that sparks my interest," Bonnar said. "I was pretty content being retired before and then Bellator offered me Tito like right away. I was like 'Oh god, you know what? That sounds like fun.' It was fun. It was fun in there."
But Bellator dragged him back into the game with a fight against Ortiz, someone he has disliked for a long time. And that was too good to pass up. Bonnar and Ortiz actually promoted the fight extremely well for Bellator. There were serious pro-wrestling overtones -- including the use of in-cage promos and the unveiling of a masked man. But it worked. The fight ended up being the most watched on cable in all of 2014.
"He gave me a good fight as much as I hate him," Bonnar said. "He pushed me and I had to dig deep."
Bonnar (15-9) did not seem to treat his body well before the fight, though. He told Helwani that he had to cut 19 pounds in four hours the day of weigh-ins.
"Sure it's a new [personal record] for me, but I don't think you should be doing that at the end of your career," Bonnar said.
The Ultimate Fighter 1 standout appeared on The MMA Hour with Forrest Griffin. April 9 marks the 10-year anniversary of the classic Griffin vs. Bonnar encounter from the TUF 1 Finale. Not only will it go down as one of the greatest MMA fights ever, but far and away it was the most influential. UFC president Dana White has said many times that without those two fighting their hearts out that night in Las Vegas there might not be a UFC today.
That's why both Bonnar and Griffin are in the Hall of Fame. Griffin is a former UFC light heavyweight champion, while Bonnar was little more than a journeyman with a big personality. His best career win is over Keith Jardine, but without him MMA might not even be a thing right now.
Bonnar will be able to take that with him as he rides into the sunset. Most likely for good.
"All the other stuff like training and preparing and cutting weight, that isn't fun anymore," Bonnar said. "I used to really enjoy that. It just wasn't as fun."
But hey, maybe it could be again some day with the right opponent.