“I want everyone to know I’m coming out of retirement because it’s time to free the MMA world of the virus that’s known as Tito Ortiz,” Bonnar said in a statement released by Bellator. “We’ve been suffering through his boring fights for too many years, and it’s about time that someone beats it out of him once and for all.”
Stephan Bonnar (15-8) has been out of MMA since 2012, when he announced his retirement following a loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 153—a fight which he also tested positive for anabolic steroids. The TUF 1 finalist and one-half of what is considered the most important fight in UFC history (vs. Forrest Griffin), had a 8-year stint in the UFC (2005-2012)—achieving a record of 8-7.
Bonnar was previously on a 3-fight win streak before losing to Anderson Silva. During his retirement, Bonnar has been doing color commentary for Titan FC. And was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2013, alongside Forrest Griffin.
Bonnar made it known that he wanted to fight Tito Ortiz, following Ortiz’s Bellator debut win over Alexander Shlemenko at Bellator 120. And the two have gone back and forth verbally sparring, as Ortiz disagreed with Bonnar’s UFC Hall of Fame induction.
Bellator President Scott Coker envisions a couple of big name fights for Stephan Bonnar in the future in a star-studded light heavyweight division.
“Stephan is a guy that has been a huge part of this sport and we are excited have him part of the roster,” Bellator President Scott Coker said. “He was one half of probably the greatest and one of the most important fights in MMA history, and it happened on Spike. When you look at our Light Heavyweight division, with names like Rampage, Tito, King Mo, Emanuel Newton and others, there are a lot of fights Stephan can be involved in. Big fights against big names. After talking to Stephan, I know that’s what he wants, and we want to provide that to our fans.”