The Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) community suffered a huge loss last week (December 22, 2022).
News broke on Christmas Eve (December 24, 2022) that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar had died at age 45. Details of the death remain unclear, but heart complications have since been cited by the UFC.
Shockwaves rippled through the sport and many reacted instantly, offering their condolences to the Bonnar family. Now his biggest opponent and longtime best friend, Forrest Griffin, has commented on the tragic news.
“Stephan was many things: he was always the most interesting person in the room, he had the biggest heart and most importantly he was my friend,” Griffin said. tweeted. “I always liked people getting excited when they found out we were really friends. I will always miss you bro.
Bonnar and Griffin have been immortalized in MMA fame from the moment they debuted against each other in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 1 in April 2005. The Light Heavyweight duo went to war like no one had seen before, delivering an instant classic that is credited with “saving the UFC” as the sport failed to catch on. In the end, Griffin won a unanimous decision on the night, but the fight was so entertaining and memorable that UFC President Dana White awarded both men exclusive six-figure contracts.
“The American Psycho” struggled through October 2012 with the promotion, going 8-8 (15-9 overall). Bonnar’s highest-profile career fight came in his final Octagon appearance against former middleweight champion Anderson Silva in Brazil at UFC 153. He would fight one more time before moving on. officially retire, signing with Bellator to fight another former UFC champion, Tito Ortiz.
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