If you’ve been desperately trying to forget about the near brawl that ensued between Stephan Bonnar and Tito Ortiz at Bellator 123, following the most puzzling and odd fight announcement in MMA history, then let me apologize in advance. Yes, there have been some developments which require me to revisit the ‘incident.’
If you missed the entire thing, well, you might want to consider yourself lucky. Ortiz and Bonnar were brought into the cage at the event, except the latter was accompanied by a masked man…feel free to re-read that sentence. It turned out to be Ortiz’s former training partner Justin McCully, who evidently has decided to help Bonnar in his effort to brutalize Ortiz on November 15th.
After each UFC Hall of Famer tossed some verbal barbs at one another, Ortiz lunged at Bonnar, in a movement which seemed extremely telegraphed. The whole shtick seems to have annoyed countless fans, many of whom are saying the whole thing was staged (although what if McCully does typically walk around wearing a mask?).
At any rate, Bellator President Scott Coker is swearing that the promotion didn’t take a page out of the pro rasslin handbook. The former Strikeforce head recently spoke to MMA Junkie.com, and here is some of what he had to say about the puzzling incident, which quickly went viral.
“Spike didn’t know, we didn’t know, and after the fight, I was sitting and watching Tito, and he was pissed off and mad for a good hour after that altercation,” said Coker. “So as fake or as pro wrestling as it might seem, there’s some deep-seeded something going on over there. Really, I don’t even know what that’s about between McCully and Tito.”
“He asked me, ‘Coker, what happened?’ And I’m like, ‘Mike, I swear, I did not know that was going to go down, and that’s the truth, on my father’s grave,’” Coker added, while relaying a conversation he had with the director from the local commission. “I did not know that was going to go down. That’s not my style, and this is not something that we had pre-planned. I asked them, please, don’t touch each other. All I remember (during the brawl) was somebody spitting over my shoulder. I’m like, ‘Jesus, this is terrible.’”
So, there you have it. Coker also noted it looked like Bonnar had prepared a script (thus the masked man bit), but he believes Ortiz didn’t know what the “American Psycho” had planned.
Regardless of whether the whole thing was staged, it certainly got a ton of people talking about, albeit, many of whom for the wrong reasons…like they always say folks, any press is good press.
Ortiz-Bonnar will go down November 15th at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. The card will also feature Michael Chandler taking on Will Brooks for the vacant lightweight belt, which should be spectacular.