On April 9, 2005, the landscape of mixed martial arts was changed forever. That was the night that Stephan Bonnar fought Forrest Griffin in the TUF season 1 finale.
In one of the greatest displays of human determination ever witnessed inside the cage, the two men gave everything they had and put on a spectacle for the world to see.
Stephan Bonnar came up short, and Forrest Griffin was declared the winner, but both fighters were given UFC contracts.
Their careers have continued on a similar note. Griffin has gone on to win (and lose) the UFC light heavyweight championship, while Bonnar has never even challenged.
Bonnar has fought the best of the best, but it seems that he just couldn't quite reach that elite level. His losses consist mostly of current/former champions (Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida and Jon Jones).
At this point in his career, Bonnar is 35 and isn't getting any younger. It's fair to say that his best days are behind him.
However, he's put together a nice three-fight winning streak, albeit against middling competition (Kyle Kingsbury, Igor Pokrajac and Krzysztof Soszynski).
Although he was never the most physically gifted fighter, he makes up for what he lacks in grit and determination. He's earned his nickname "The American Psycho," and fans know that he will never shy away from a good old fashioned brawl.
His counterpart, Forrest Griffin, is currently scheduled to fight Chael Sonnen at UFC 155. Although Griffin is coming off a win against Tito Ortiz, his career has taken a bit of a slide. (His exit of the cage and post-fight interview with Tito was just bizarre.) If Griffin loses against Sonnen (which I think is likely), it would be great to see Griffin and Bonnar go at it one more time.
Would the rematch live up to the first fight? Not likely. However, the world seems to love trilogies, and it just seems fitting that these two fight one last time to wrap everything up.
For all he's done, and all that he's given to the sport, Bonnar is owed at least one more big fight.
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