At Bellator 123 on Friday, multiple time steroid abuser Stephan Bonnar and a masked man joined Scott Coker and Tito Ortiz in the ring to announce their fight, which will take place on November 15th. During the course of the verbal exchange, it was revealed that the masked man was Ortiz’ former coach Justin McCully. Ortiz and Bonnar traded words before Ortiz shoved Bonnar.
Many fans speculated that the entire thing was staged, given the WWE-style verbal confrontation, however there is no proof that the altercation was staged.
Bellator MMA President Scott Coker spoke with MMAJunkie about the incident.
“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. 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.
“To me, it’s like when Chael Sonnen does his wrestling bits. It’s very, ‘Now they’re going into the WWE business.’ It’s just how some of these guys choose to express themselves. I think Stephan had his script ready, but I don’t think Tito had his script ready because having Justin there threw him off. But at the end of the day, that’s something that happened one time. … But I’ll tell you this: The fight that’s going to happen in the cage on Nov. 15 is going to be real. All that stuff’s going to be put to the side, and they’re going to be locked in the cage, and they’re going to have to fight. But we are not going into the pro wrestling business. We’re not part of the TNA landscape, and we’re not part of Spike’s plan. It’s something that took us all by surprise.”
“I told Tito, ‘Look, here’s the deal: (Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation Director Michael) Mazzulli’s here. You’re going to get fined. I’m going to get fined. Everybody’s going to get fined, so just don’t touch each other,’. I walked over to Stephan Bonnar, and as I was walking by, I see a guy with a mask. (I thought), ‘Who the heck is this guy?’ I was busy, but I went to Stephan, and I said, ‘We’re all going to get fined. You guys don’t like each other, but please don’t touch each other.’”
Obviously the two were unable to keep their hands off each other, and an immediate discussion after the altercation between Coker and Mazulli had Coker swearing on his fathers grave that he had no idea about the scuffle prior to it happening.
“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.’ 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.’
“It was bad, but it happened, and it is what it is. I understand why the fans are confused, but this is something that wasn’t pre-planned on our part. It was really between Tito and Stephan. What happens in the cage on the 15th, there’s not going to be any pro wrestling. It’s going to be a real fight.”