For those of you who didn’t have the patience, the cable package, or the right list of websites to steal last night’s UFC on FUEL event from, we are sorry to inform you that you missed out on one hell of a show. James Te Huna and Joey Beltran set the UFC record for most significant strikes landed within a three round light heavyweight affair at 206, unfortunately giving us cancer in the process. Te Huna also set a record for most significant strikes landed in one round by a light heavyweight with 71 in the first. In the main event, Chris Weidman made Mark Munoz look like Houston Alexander on the mat*, holding him to zero significant strikes en route to a beautiful standing elbow KO in the second round ala Steve Bosse vs, you guessed it, Houston Alexander. Apparently under the belief that Weidman had covered his gloves in smelling salts, referee Josh Rosenthal allowed the New Yorker to land about a dozen or more unnecessary shots to a clearly unconscious and exponentially bleeding Munoz, causing this writer to scream at his television in honest to God horror for the first time in recent memory. As is usually the case with a free card, last night contained its fair share of ups and downs.
But perhaps the most disorienting moment of the night (aside from the few seconds I thought we had seen the last of Mark Munoz) came during the post-fight show, which featured Jay Glazer, Chael Sonnen, and CagePotato contributor/future UFC HOFer Stephan Bonnar. When the three finally calmed down and Sonnen had finished stroking Weidman’s ego with the fervor of a Taiwanese transsexual prostitute, Ariel Helwani was able to snag a short interview with UFC bossman Dana White. After White announced the coaches for The Ultimate Fighter: Billy no-mates vs. Banana Benders, Helwani proceeded to ask about the futures of the fighters that sat just a few feet behind him.
White declared that “He hadn’t even talked to Chael yet” and that “Only [Chael] knows what he wants to do,” but the real bombshell was dropped when White was asked about Bonnar. After skewering, then roasting Bonnar’s dreams of coaching the next season of The Ultimate Fighter opposite Forrest Griffin over an open flame, White claimed that the last time he and “The American Psycho” spoke, Bonnar was considering retirement.
What followed was a heartfelt, if not mildly confusing speech by Bonnar that more or less confirmed this.
“Put it this way, I have no interest in fighting the next big thing before the world realizes the talent of the guy,” Bonnar said, obviously referring to his fights against Jon Jones and Mark Coleman (see what I did there?):
I’ve been doing this eleven years, and I’ve been through the ringer. So I promised myself I’d put a nice streak together, and I said if I want my last fight, I’m gonna go back in there against someone with a lot of Twitter followers. The story of my career has been fighting a lot of the best guys right before they got on top, you know. So I said, ‘Hey, if I can’t get that big marquee fight then yeah, it’s God’s way of telling me to go do something else for a while.’
Sonnen immediately offered an empathetic shoulder rub, leading me to believe that Silva might have kneed Sonnen so hard that he literally unclogged about a decade’s worth of false machismo bullshit from his insides. Sharing our confusion, Glazer asked Bonnar to clarify.
Glazer: “Let’s clear this up. What are you saying here?”
Bonnar: “Hey who knows…um…”
Glazer: “It sounds like you’re saying you’re retiring.”
Bonnar: “Maybe they’ll still let me fight Forrest. Maybe there’s the chance that Rampage wants to fight again. That’s a fight I really wanted too. But, hey, if he doesn’t got a lot of Twitter followers, then maybe it’s God’s way of saying maybe do something else.”
I may not be a man of faith, but even I find it a little odd that Bonnar would coalesce an overseeing deity and a social networking device into the governing body upon which he bases his decision. Perhaps that’s why he has the nickname he has.
But on a serious note, and with all due respect to Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin, who out there would rather see two mid-to-upper-tier heavyweights duke it out over the two guys who’s first fight helped make the UFC what it is? Both Stephan and Forrest have now hinted at retirement, and what better way would it be to end their careers than in the exact fashion they truly started them? It would not only be the barnburner to end all barnburners, making Hendo/Rua look like a sissy fight between two theater nerds in the process**, but would make for a far more entertaining season than any other I could imagine. It could even make for the first time in UFC History that both fighters announced it would be their last fight in the months leading up to it. In a word, it would be legend.
And I for one, don’t give two shits that Stephan is 0-2 against FoGriff in his career. The first fight was razor-thin, and I honestly believe that, in this point in their respective careers, Bonnar has the best chance of beating Griffin now that he’s ever had. He’s put together three straight wins over decent competition, and has shown that he still has a few tricks up his sleeve when the odds are stacked against him. Forget a fight with that drama queen Rampage; his heart simply ain’t in it anymore, and Bonnar deserves better. THIS is the fight we should be clamoring for. Can you even imagine how epic the pranks alone would be, being that these two are both good friends and on their way out of the building? Screw mariachi bands and fire extinguishers, we’d be looking at full on tribal warfare.
Do what you gotta do, Potato Nation, be it a Twitter campaign, an occupy movement, or perhaps something that will actually work, to turn this hope of Bonnar’s into a reality. We owe him that much.
*Obvious exaggeration is obvious.
**This is clearly a joke as well. One that borders on blasphemy, but still. Take it sleazy.