Stephan Bonnar dies at 45: UFC Hall of Famer ‘one of the most important fighters’ in history

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UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonner, known in the Octagon as the ultimate underdog, died Saturday. he was 45 years old.

Bonner died of presumed heart complications while on the job, according to the UFC, which announced his death.

2013 UFC Hall of Fame inductees Bonner and Forrest Griffin are credited with helping the UFC and mixed martial arts as a whole achieve mainstream notoriety after their fight on the reality show The Ultimate Fighter . Bonner, who fought Griffin in the final match of the reality program’s first season, delivered a unanimous decision in a ferocious, bloody fight that encapsulated the awe-inspiring and eye-catching nature of his MMA fighting at the top of the class. lost.

Griffin was named the 2005 UFC Fight of the Year and earned a six-figure contract from a brawl considered one of the greatest MMA fights of all time, but UFC president Dana White said Bonner’s performance Very impressed. He also signed a contract with American Psycho.

“Stephen Bonner was one of the most important fighters to ever fight in the Octagon,” White said in a statement released by the UFC. “His fight with Forrest Griffin changed the sport forever. “He will never be forgotten. The fans loved him, they had a relationship with him, he always gave his best. He will be missed.”

Bonner fought another seven years after Griffin’s fight, most notably leading to the decision to unanimously defeat two-time UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones at UFC 94 in 2009. , Tito Ortiz, Anderson Silva.

He has won three of his last five fights, including finally winning the finals in “The Ultimate Fighter” when he defeated Igor Pokrajak in the show’s twelfth season.

Bonner finished 15-9 overall and retired from the UFC in 2012 and Bellator in 2014 after one fight. Also in 2019 Impact he spent some time in wrestling. The battle with Oritsu at Bellator 131 became the headline of the most watched card in the company’s history. time for that conclusion.

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