It’s weird to think that two UFC Hall of Famers, Stephan Bonnar and Tito Ortiz may might each in a separate promotion, Bellator later this year or early next.
UFC President Dana White said that he released Bonnar from his contract so that he could go beat up Ortiz, a man whom White has feuded with famously.
Ortiz left for Bellator and was supposed to fight Quinton “Rampage” Jackson on PPV, but Ortiz got hurt and the fight was scrapped.
Now Ortiz may be in line for another big pay day against Bonnar. Under the tutelage of new president Scott Coker, Bellator appears poised to surge.
At the end of the day, a Bonnar vs. Ortiz fight would be an interesting match-up between two fighters who are big names in MMA.
Ortiz, whether the UFC likes it or not, is a big draw, and he will boost PPV buys on any card he appears. Bonnar is one of the UFC’s original stars, rising to fame in the historic fight between he and Forrest Griffin on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Bellator’s existence is great for MMA fans and fighters. The Viacom-owned company gives fighters options, and competition for the UFC is a good thing for the fans. The fans are the ones who win when the fighters have multiple place to compete.
Just because some fighters are toward the end of their careers doesn’t mean they aren’t draws anymore. What would happen if Bellator signed the great Fedor Emelianenko? There’s not doubt he can draw and he probably has a few fights left over in him.
Everyone thought Ortiz was done, but he went out there and submitted Alexander Shlemenko in the first round. Bonnar also needs one more fight. He was knocked out by Anderson Silva in the first round of his last fight, then tested positive for performance enhancement drugs and was suspended for a year. That’s not the way for the legend to go out. A fight with Ortiz could remind fans of the days when he was at the top of his game.
Ortiz, one of the UFC’s original stars, has little to prove. It’s amazing that he is fighting 15 years after his MMA debut. He would no doubt force Bonnar into a fight and win or lose, the fans will enjoy seeing these two giants of MMA entertain one more time.