Silva vs Bonnar Results: What Is the Legacy of Stephan Bonnar?
I’m not a fan of Stephan Bonnar—nor are most people, if Twitter is anything to go by.
According to our own Twitter rankings from last August, Bonnar is nowhere in the top 40 most-followed UFC fighters currently signed with the promotion.
Which means that Bonnar’s insistence after his fight against Kyle Kingsbury last year that he’ll only come out of semi-retirement if the UFC lines up a fight against someone with more Twitter followers than him didn’t actually mean much. Any number of fighters could be chosen.
However, with the strange way that the universe works, and after campaigning hard for months to be given a big name opponent to end his career, Bonnar was given the man with more Twitter followers than any other in the world of MMA—Anderson Silva.
Bonnar’s Twitter obsession comes from an inconsistent career which has seen this little-more-than-average fighter finish with a 15-8 record after what could be his last fight on Saturday. As far as Bonnar sees it, the UFC has lined up too many unknown opponents who went on to become superstars following their victory over him, rather than the other way round.
He’s talking about Jon Jones.
Bonnar was Jones' second opponent in the UFC and was a fighter the TUF alumni was meant to beat comfortably. But instead, Jones broke him apart over three rounds and has gone on to become the most dominant light heavyweight since Tito Ortiz.
Bonnar was left far in the distance, fading to further losses after that fight and becoming little more than a journeyman before Silva was offered to him.
However, when we’re talking about "legacy" and Bonnar, we are obliged to mention his performance on the first finale of TUF and his fight against Forrest Griffin, which Dana White once referred to as the most important fight in the promotion’s history.
It’s hardly that.
That fight went down in 2005, the UFC’s middle years, and its importance has long been superseded by endless turning points that have seen MMA become one of the fastest-growing sports in the world.
Few MMA fans, who joined the sport post-Brock Lesnar—and that includes the vast majority of followers of the sport—will remember that fight.
Nor are they likely to remember many of his other fights. All his subsequent decision losses to Rashad Evans, Forrest Griffin (again) or Mark Coleman are instantly forgettable. So too are his occasional wins against obsolete fighters such as Mike Nickels, Eric Schafer or Krzysztof Soszynski.
In the end, his two losses to two greats of the sport, Jones and Silva, will linger much longer in the memory.
Against Silva, he gave us an opportunity to see the Brazilian’s sublime brilliance in the cage against a completely inadequate opponent—and for that, we thank you, Bonnar.
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