Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar Will Enter UFC Hall of Fame in July
When The Ultimate Fighter first debuted in 2005, no one was sure if the mixed martial arts reality show would be an instant hit or a ratings bomb.
Twelve episodes of fights, in-house hijinks and drunken escapades led to the first season finale, where Forrest Griffin met Stephan Bonnar in a light heavyweight bout to declare the first ever Ultimate Fighter champion at 205 pounds.
No one could have predicted what happened next over a full 15 minutes.
Griffin and Bonnar engaged in a fight for the ages, with both competitors slugging away at each other on the feet and on the ground. Neither one ever seemed to truly get the upper hand in the fight, but that didn't stop them from blasting away, throwing everything and the kitchen sink at each other over the course of three rounds.
When it was over, UFC President Dana White, former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell and just about everyone else at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas were on their feet applauding what is now considered the greatest single moment in UFC history.
Following that fight, both Griffin and Bonnar continued on in the UFC, amassing 30 total fights between the two of them. In late 2012, Bonnar retired from mixed martial arts following a loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 153 and a positive steroids test that would have ended in a lengthy suspension from the sport anyway.
On Saturday night, Griffin joined his former rival and now friend in retirement, and in July, the two will team up once again for another moment in UFC history.
Speaking to the media following the conclusion of the UFC 160 post-fight press conference, White announced that Griffin and Bonnar will be inducted together into the UFC Hall of Fame during the UFC Fan Expo the weekend of UFC 162 in July.
The UFC posted the news on its official Twitter account:
Dana has announced that Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame at the @ufcfanexpo in July— UFC (@ufc) May 26, 2013
The event will take place over July 5 and 6, with Griffin and Bonnar going into the UFC Hall of Fame simultaneously. They will become the 10th and 11th members, respectively.
During their UFC careers, Griffin went 10-5 and managed to win the UFC light heavyweight title, while Bonnar amassed an 8-7 record overall. What they will most be remembered for, however, is their fight on April 9, 2005, which helped kick-start the UFC to new heights that is still climbing to this day.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all information was obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
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