Bonnar (15-8) retired after losing to Anderson Silva at UFC 153 and testing positive for Drostanolone, an anabolic steroid, following the fight. That was nearly two years ago.
According to Bellator officials, he is expected to fight live on Spike TV later this year. Although they fell short of announcing an opponent, rumors have focused on Bonnar stepping into the cage with fellow UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz, a rumor he bolstered in his first comments since signing with Bellator.
“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. “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.”
Referencing Bonnar's landmark fight with Forrest Griffin in the inaugural season finale of The Ultimate Fighter, which took place on Spike TV, newly minted Bellator president Scott Coker explained the decision to bring Bonnar out of retirement.
“Stephan is a guy that has been a huge part of this sport and we are excited have him part of the roster,” 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.”