It took seven long years for Stephan Bonnar to go from Ultimate Fighter runner-up to PPV main event and, unfortunately for "The American Psycho," things went about as well as most fans expected.
Bonnar was contemplating retirement prior to accepting the fight with Silva, but there is likely still some fight in the TUF veteran.
As a fan of Bonnar’s, I'd hate to see him go out on a loss like the one he suffered on Saturday, so here are a few fights that would be great for him to go out with before he decides to hang up his gloves.
This is a fight that Bonnar has been asking for and it may make more sense now than ever.
Rampage was originally set to fight Glover Teixeira on Saturday’s card, but an injury a month before the fight forced Jackson to pull out of the bout and it now appears Teixeira may still be on the former champion's radar.
However, I think Teixeira earned himself a bit more of a step up in competition and Bonnar is the far more sensible opponent for Rampage right now.
Both guys are popular veterans on their way out of the sport and there’s little doubt that they would engage in a serious slugfest.
Teixeira has a bit too much to lose at this point and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him attempt to grind Rampage out on the mat—something that would never happen if Bonnar stepped in instead.
After a successful return to the Octagon with a win over Roger Hollett at UFC 152, Matt Hamill is out of retirement and looking to get back into title contention at 205.
While “The Hammer” is one of the more popular mid-level fighters competing in a star-studded light heavyweight division, he’s still miles away from a shot at a top contender and a win over a big name opponent for Bonnar would get him there.
Bonnar could use a decent test to get him back on track as well, and a win over Hamill would look pretty good on Bonnar’s already decent resume.
Both Stephan Bonnar and Brandon Vera have the loveable underdog role in their most recent bout, but now that they aren’t staring almost certain doom in the face it may be cool to see them fight each other.
Neither man is going to get another huge opportunity anytime soon, but they have both earned their place on the UFC roster and are in very similar situations coming off of high profile defeats.
Bonnar and Vera could put on a hell of a show if they got thrown together on a Fox broadcast, and the winner would earn himself another well-known fighter for his next trip to the cage.
Bonnar has said he only wants to fight big names and “Little Nog” certainly qualifies.
Nogueira’s one of the most versatile fighters in the sport today, using his boxing and ju-jitsu to make his opponents nervous no matter where the fight takes place.
This matches up well with Bonnar’s "fight to the death" mentality.
If Bonnar went out and truly brought the fight to Nogueira, we could see one of the best fights of Bonnar’s already action-packed career.
This really only makes sense if Griffin loses to Chael Sonnen in December, but since Bonnar has a child on the way it seems safe to say he’ll want at least a little time off.
The history between these two is enough to get fans interested in a third fight, despite Griffin winning the first two, and if the UFC is willing to let them coach a season of The Ultimate Fighter, even better.
Bonnar stepped up and took a huge fight on exactly one month’s notice and, while many would call the opportunity to fight Anderson Silva a reward in itself, I think he deserves one last gesture from the UFC.