UFC 153 Results: Stephan Bonnar Got His Moment, Now It's Time for Retirement

McKinley NobleCorrespondent IOctober 14, 2012

Stephan Bonnar doesn't have anything left to prove. (Photo Credit: UFC/Zuffa)
Stephan Bonnar doesn't have anything left to prove. (Photo Credit: UFC/Zuffa)

It's time for Stephan Bonnar to saunter off into the sunset.

Although his UFC 153 fight with Anderson Silva only happened due to a freak storm of chance and odd circumstances, this is probably as high as he can climb in the sport.

Bonnar shouldn't have any regrets about retiring, either.

He'll be leaving at the top of his game after putting in his best effort in a main event against the greatest fighter in MMA history. No other fight he could take down the road would even compare in importance and public intrigue, especially on the back of such a strong card.

Unless every other UFC light heavyweight around the world somehow tested positive for 10 different kinds of performance enhancers in the next year, Bonnar getting back into the title picture is a pipe dream at best.

Hungry young fighters like Jon Jones, Alexander Gustafsson and Phil Davis will rule the division in the future, while seasoned powerhouses like Glover Teixeira and Rashad Evans are still dangerously effective in their prime.

There's simply no room at the top for Bonnar, and after a night like UFC Rio 3, a step back down into gatekeeper status doesn't do anything for his long career.

He'll most likely never shake the fact that his greatest moment in UFC history was losing to Forrest Griffin in the first Ultimate Fighter finale event—but that single fight is still credited with saving Zuffa and mixed martial arts as we know it.

Is that such a bad way to be remembered?

Besides, unlike 10 years ago, the modern era of MMA is well-suited to give Bonnar a comfortable life outside of the Octagon.

He's got a baby on the way. Analyst gigs with ESPN and the FOX Network are likely going to be there for a while. Plus, "The American Psycho" should be a shoo-in for the UFC Hall of Fame.

Lump that in with UFC appearances, the occasional booking event, plus training sessions with fighters looking for a capable sparring partner, and Bonnar can spend his idle days quite comfortably.

As it stands, if he chooses to do so, the time is right for him to walk away.

Bonnar should call it a career while he's ahead and hang up his gloves. He deserves a rest, and there will never be a better time.

[McKinley Noble is an MMA conspiracy theorist and FightFans Radio writer. His work has appeared in GamePro, Macworld and PC World. Talk with him on Twitter.]