(Godspeed, you strange, beautiful warrior. / Photo via Heavy)
His gritty decision loss to Forrest Griffin at the first TUF Finale helped turn the UFC’s fortunes around, and his most recent fight against Anderson Silva saved UFC 153 from possible extinction. The American Psycho shed his blood for the good of the sport, and now he’s gone.
It was confirmed yesterday that Stephan Bonnar will be retiring from MMA following an 11-year career, including a 15-fight stretch in the UFC where he went 8-7. It’s likely that he’ll be remembered more for his defeats than his victories — besides the aforementioned losses to Griffin and Silva, Bonnar also has the dubious honor of being an early victim of Lyoto Machida, a member of Jon Jones’s spinning-back-elbow highlight reel, and the last person to be defeated by Mark Coleman (ouch).
Still, it was a joy to watch him compete, and when he won, it was a triumph. I know it sounds cliched and pandering to talk about “heart,” “warrior spirit,” and “never-say-die attitude” when you’re discussing a fighter who was never able to come near a title belt, but in Bonnar’s case, those terms genuinely apply. He was one of the good guys, and his generosity with fans even extended to two-bit MMA blogs like ours.
CagePotato.com would like to wish Stephan Bonnar the best of luck on his future endeavors, and thank him for the years of entertainment he’s given us in the UFC. Please share your favorite Stephan Bonnar moment in the comments section, and check out the full video of Bonnar vs. Griffin 1 after the jump.