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Tag: Stephan Bonnar

Don’t Believe the Hate, Stephan Bonnar Is a True Hall of Famer


(Photo via Getty Images)

By Elias Cepeda

Yesterday morning I watched the video of Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar’s UFC Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which is embedded at the end of this post. Really, I watched to see and hear from Bonnar.

Nothing against Forrest. I love watching the guy fight and he embodies everything that is great about MMA, but I’ve always had a special interest in “The American Psycho.”

Bonnar, or “RoboCop” as they used to call him back in Chicago where he trained with Carlson Gracie Sr. and began his career, was just the second guy I ever interviewed for a professional story, back in 2005. The guys you’ve covered for nearly the entirety of their careers always hold a special place in your heart.

I interviewed Bonnar a number of times over the first few years of his UFC career but since then I have only connected with him a couple times for interviews. The last time I spoke with Stephan was over the telephone for a feature at UFC.com when he came out of retirement to fight Anderson Silva last year. It has been a rough roller-coaster year for Bonnar — who sort-of retired after putting together a three-fight win streak in the Octagon, came back only to be shredded by Silva at UFC 153retired again (for real this time), had a son, and failed a drug test for steroids — and I was interested in what he had to say at his Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Especially since so many writers have taken the occasion to criticize him and give the UFC flack for including him in its Hall of Fame. I’d always taken it for granted that he and Forrest Griffin both would one day be inducted.

It just made sense. The two of them lifted The Ultimate Fighter and the UFC out of obscurity with their epic slobber-knocker in the season one finale. Griffin won, but Bonnar fought so well that he too was given a UFC contract.

In all, Bonnar would have two razor-close decision fights with Griffin, who himself made history as the first-ever fully unified (UFC, Pride, Pride Grand Prix) linear 205-pound champion. For nearly a decade, Bonnar fought the best and toughest the UFC had to offer and the only guy to truly out-class him was Anderson Silva. That fight, of course, happened because Bonnar was willing to come out of retirement and help save an event for the UFC and the fans.

There’s good reason to believe that professional mixed martial arts would not exist today if not for the UFC. There’s also good reason to believe that the UFC would not exist today if not for TUF 1, and the unforgettable climax that Griffin and Bonnar provided in their finale bout.

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Is it Possible to Fix The UFC Hall of Fame Induction Process?


(Well? Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)

By the time that this is published, the ceremony that will make Stephan Bonnar an official member of the UFC Hall of Fame will be underway. Bonnar’s resume includes an 8-7 UFC record, a flawless 0-0 record in UFC title fights, two failed drug tests and the significance of his TUF Finale bout against Forrest Griffin – a fight so important to UFC history that it has its own Wikipedia page. Bonnar also is on good terms with Dana White, which is arguably the most important criterion for induction into what is supposedly the UFC’s highest honor.

Regardless of how you feel about Bonnar’s induction, that last sentence should make you feel uncomfortable. A company that already has trouble convincing non-fans that it isn’t glorified professional wrestling selects people into its hall of fame the same way that the WWE does – by allowing one person to dictate who is worthy of the honor. Both halls have some debatable inductions. Both halls have some notable omissions. Neither hall is taken seriously by most fans of either sport.

While many articles have been written about how Bonnar’s induction highlights everything that’s wrong with the UFC Hall of Fame selection process, pretty much none of them offered any solutions. Below you’ll find a few suggestions to fix the hall, as well as reasons that they may not work. Let’s start off with the most obvious fix…

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Booking Alert: Gilbert Melendez Taking on Diego Sanchez at UFC 166


(Listen to Stephan Bonnar‘s last line to Diego Sanchez in this classic TUF: 1 clip and tell us the guy doesn’t belong in the UFC Hall of Fame.)

The UFC 166: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos 3 card (October 19th, Houston) is starting to fill out. In addition to the heavyweight title fight rubber-match and the Lombard vs. Marquardt welterweight bout, a fight between former #1 lightweight contenders Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez is the latest booking to be confirmed for the fall event at the Toyota Center.

Melendez is coming off of a razor-thin decision loss to champion Benson Henderson at UFC on FOX 7. Despite the ‘L’ on his record, the former Strikeforce champion lived up to the hype in his UFC debut and looks to get back into title contention ASAP by facing Sanchez.

“The Dream” has won three out of his last four bouts, including his victorious return to the lightweight division this past March when he earned a decision over Takanori Gomi. Melendez looked better than ever in his last bout, but Sanchez has a tendency to make any fight a competitive scrap…most of the time, at least. Who do you pick in this one, ‘Taters?

- Elias Cepeda

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[VIDEO] That Was Quick – Forrest Griffin Opens Door to Comeback


(Video via MMA Fight Corner)

Athe UFC 160 post event press conference Dana White announced that former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin was retiring from MMA. Now, less than a month later, Griffin has revealed that he’s at least open to the possibility of coming back should his body heal up well from recent injuries.

“I’ll start training again, September, August. Maybe if I’m just magically healed and like everything works great, then I’ll have to try [fighting] again. But, I’m not healthy now,” the TUF 1 winner told MMA Fight Corner.

Griffin last fought in July of 2012, when he beat long-time champion Tito Ortiz by unanimous decision. Griffin won three out of his last four fights but was forced to pull out of a scheduled bout with Phil Davis this year due to a torn MCL in his knee.

Griffin will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame July 6th at UFC 162 along with his TUF 1 co-finalist Stephan Bonnar. And, although the fighter sounds eager to get back into training and acknowledges the possibility of his return to competition, he warns not to read too much into his desire to be back in the gym.

“But, to say I’m unusual for that, most professional athletes have that,” Griffin explained.

“Most guys are like ‘Ok when can I start training again?’. I got into this because I like fighting, I like training. It’s fun, you know.”

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The 9 Most Pathetic Hooks the UFC Has Used to Draw PPV Buys


(At one point, Jones tried to pull away because he thought the handshake was over, but Chael held on for like a half-second longer. It was, without question, the most challenging moment of Jones’s professional MMA career. / Photo via Getty Images)

By Matt Saccaro

The fight game isn’t just about tatted-up white guys with shaved heads hitting each other in the face. If it were, BodogFIGHT and the IFL would still be alive and kicking. Marketing /Hype/PR is a crucial aspect of the fight business — but it doesn’t always go so well.

There were times when the UFC has had stunning marketing triumphs (the whole “Zuffa created the entire MMA world and if you don’t like it you’re a butthurt Pride fanboy” shtick). But there were also times when the UFC’s efforts fell flat on their face like Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante against Dan Henderson.

What were some of these hyped-up but obviously bullshit moments? Let’s have a look…

1. Watch Che Mills, the Unstoppable Killing Machine!


(Source: Getty)

UFC 145’s main event of Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans was strong enough to sell a pay-per-view on. Sure, sometimes the promo made the two fighters look like jilted lovers, but we’re not gonna hate on the UFC for hyping up a title fight.

We will, however, hate on them for trying to convince fans that a squash match — Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills — was some kind of epic duel between two young lions. There was only one prospect in that fight, and it wasn’t Che Mills.

The UFC’s inability to do anything with subtlety ruined the promos for this event, the prelims for this event, and most of the PPV portion of this event. Describing Mills as a “new, dangerous welterweight from the UK” was a gross exaggeration. The British striker was only dangerous if you were a TUF bum or if you suffered an accidental knee injury while fighting him.

During the prelims, Rogan was doing the hard sell. THIS CHE MILLS GUY IS A KILLER. HE’S A MONSTER. HE’S A BADASS. HE BEHEADED NED STARK. HE SHOT BAMBI’S MOTHER. Insane falsehoods like this littered the broadcast. Rogan didn’t stop the bullshit once the main card started, either.

We got treated with pro-wrestling-level fakeness about how Che Mills was on MacDonald’s level up until MacDonald, predictably, ran through Mills.

Thus, the only thing that got killed at UFC 145 was Mills’s career.

Since then, Mills hasn’t legitimately won a fight, unless you count Duane Ludwig’s freak injury as a legit win. Earlier this month, Mills lost via TKO to Irishman Cathal Pendred (never heard of him either) at a CWFC event in Ireland.

2. James Toney, Bane of MMA Fighters.

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Friday Link Dump: Wandy Wants “Dream” Fight With Sonnen in Brazil, Johny Hendricks Trains With Tyson, 25 Absolutely Ridiculous Daytime Television Screenshots + More


(Goood…let the cake flow through you. To honor Nikita “The Al Capone” Krylov’s debut, here are the 50 Funniest Caucasian Gangster Photos via WorldWideInterWeb.com.)

Wanderlei Silva wants Chael Sonnen for “Dream” Fight in Brazil (BleacherReport)

[VIDEO] Johny Hendricks Trains With Mike Tyson (FightDay)

Lack of Reaction to Stephan Bonnar UFC Hall of Fame Announcement Speaks Volumes (MMAFighting)

And The Most Desirable Woman of 2013 Is…(MensFitness)

Where Are They Now? Your Favorite WWE Stars of the ’80s (Complex)

Freestyle Fantasy: Hot Chicks Doing Cool Things (Break)

The 33 Most Influential Events Of The Last 10 Years: A Summary For Average Joes (DoubleViking)

Is The Scripps National Spelling Bee Evil? (Deadspin)

25 Absolutely Ridiculous Daytime Television Screenshots (EgoTV)

Weekend Movie Guide: M. Night Weiner Kids Presents ‘After Earth’ (FilmDrunk)

10 Great Metal Performances from the ’90s on American Television (MetalInjection)

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[VIDEO] Forrest Griffin Discusses His Retirement


(Video via " target="_blank">MMA Fighting)

After UFC 160, Dana White announced that Forrest Griffin has retired. The announcement came as a surprise to the MMA world.

Griffin won the first season of The Ultimate Fighter and went on to become the first truly unified light heavyweight champion of the world when he won the UFC 205 pound belt. His last fight was a win over Tito Ortiz in July of 2012.

White also announced that Griffin and his fellow TUF 1 finalist Stephan Bonnar will both be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame next month. Griffin spoke with MMA Fighting last night after the announcement and spoke about why he made the decision to retire and what he'll do next.

- Elias Cepeda

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Understatement of the Day: Stephan Bonnar “F*cked Up” Taking Steroids Prior to UFC 153


(“I swear to God, you guys, I had an injury THIS BIG.” Photo courtesy of Getty Images.) 

It’s weird to think about, but the fallout from Stephan Bonnar’s second post-fight steroid bust at UFC 153 has almost been completely washed over by the MMA community. Although his one-year suspension was obviously negated by the fact that he retired from the sport shortly thereafter, even UFC President Dana White — who has been in Bonnar’s corner ever since his legendary fight with Forrest Griffin at the TUF 1 Finale – has all but refused to comment on the situation.

And as for Bonnar? Well, the normally outspoken light heavyweight has been similarly silent — likely due in part to the birth of his son — since exiting the UFC on such terrible terms. Until now, that is.

For the first time since the fight itself, Bonnar addressed the factors that led him to get popped for Drostanolone following UFC 153 during an interview on The MMA Hour (Author’s note: WHAT ABOUT US, STEPHAN?). Although Stephan took full responsibility for his actions, his reasoning for why he fell back on the juice yet again didn’t exactly absolve him of all guilt (via MMAFighting):

…after being shelved for months and being advised to retire by UFC president Dana White, he had given up hope of closing out his career with a major fight…But then, out of the blue, the semi-retired fighter got the phone call he never thought was coming. After about 10 months without a fight, he was being asked to compete against the the sport’s pound-for-pound king, Anderson Silva.

Believe it or not, there are some therapeutic uses to some of the banned substances,” he said. “Bottom line, I wanted to get my strength back. I was very weak. My body didn’t feel good, my joints didn’t feel good. That was my goal.

Poor Stephan; the dude spent upwards of seven years fighting for the UFC and never realized that there was a completely legal way to deal with the aging process.

More from the interview after the jump. 

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[VIDEOS] Behind The Scenes of UFC Minneapolis, UFC Rio & World Series of Fighting

We’ve got a special treat for you today, Taters – not one but two dope short video documentaries that take us behind the scenes of some of the biggest recent MMA events. UFC President Dana White has released his latest vlog (above) to promote this Saturday’s event in Macao.

The vlog has footage from last month’s UFC in Minneapolis as well as the UFC in Rio and has some compelling stuff, showing Yves Edwards waiting painstakingly backstage to hear if he would get to fight the incarcerated Jeremy Stephens or not. It also shows him getting the bad news broken to him by White personally.

The footage from the Rio event shows Anderson Silva warming up by doing crazy spinning kicks back stage as well as Stephan Bonnar during intense moments of contemplation as he warmed up for perhaps the last time of his roided storied career.

Behind the scenes footage of the World Series of Fighting‘s inaugural event is after the jump.

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Stephan Bonnar Suspended for One Year Following Failed UFC 153 Drug Test, Dave Herman to Receive Much Weirder Punishment


(Unfortunately for him, Bonnar’s sad puppy face failed to inspire any sympathy.) 

Not that it really matters given his retirement from the sport and all, but according to the UFC’s VP of regulatory affairs, Marc Ratner, the verdict has already been turned in for Stephan Bonnar, who pissed hot after his UFC 153 loss to Anderson Silva. “The American Psycho” will receive a one year suspension as a result of his positive test for Drostanolone. But again, being that Bonnar pulled a Richard Nixon and got the fuck out of office — thereby negating the weight of all possible punishments — we’re sure he won’t be planning on putting up much of a fight. The fact that he has yet to even make a statement regarding his test further solidifies this theory.

But here’s where things get interesting.

Also according to Ratner, the punishment in the case of Dave Herman‘s second failed test for marijuana will not only be a suspension of “months,” but could require him to enter a rehab facility as well.

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