Well, that didn't take long. Tickets go on sale at high noon today for the Nov. 15 Bellator mixed martial arts grudge match between "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" Tito Ortiz and "The American Psycho" Stephan Bonnar, Bellator announced Thursday.
Let us time travel back to 6:36 a.m. Aug. 26, when the link above first posted and yours truly predicted this spectacle given Bonnar's Ortiz-baiting as he announced he'd just signed with Bellator:
Now, I've never sniffed a tea leaf, rubbed a tarot card or given much heed to that joker Nostradamus, but my own reading between the lines of a coming-out-of-retirement statement like that would be someone's angling for a Ortiz-Bonnar fight.
OK, truth be told, I'm not a real super close follower of MMA. Hell, I didn't even realize until recently that Bellator is based in Newport Beach and that Scott Coker is my uncle. Which reminds me:
"This is a fight that Tito and Stephan have been craving for years now, and finally we are going to get to see these two go at it in what is sure to be an all-out war," the Bellator prez says in the ticket sales announcement. "The Southern California MMA fans that will be in attendance are in for a great night of MMA action from start to finish."
The Bellator 131 card also includes interim lightweight champion Will Brooks facing former champ Michael Chandler in a rematch for the vacant Bellator Lightweight Title.
Tickets ranging in price from $30 to $250 can be purchased at the San Diego Valley View Casino Center, which is the fight venue of course, as well as via axs.com or Bellator.com. It will be carried by Spike TV, as you can see on the poster on the next page.
But before that, your ringside (octagonside?) reporter would be remiss not to mention the announcement of this fight at last Friday night's Bellator 123 featured a masked man in a cage, trash talking between Bonnar and Ortiz and a staged brawl. That led to Uncle Scott being blasted in many MMA corners, including The MMA Corner, where RJ Gardner writes:
It was a WWE worthy promo and it brought back some good childhood memories but does Bellator need the gimmick?
Ortiz and Bonnar are well beyond their primes and neither has a snowball's chance in hell of actually competing with even a Top 30 light heavyweight. What's the point of this fight? Do fans really want to see someone who has failed multiple PED tests fight someone who has won just two fights in the last eight years?
Uh, hell to the yes they do! (Does that get me back in the will, Unc?)
BTW, Bonnar took the blame for the publicity stunt, taking to MMAjunkie Radio to say, "Scott Coker, I apologize to you. It never crossed my mind that you would get blamed for it. I thought people would realize it's me from the get-go."