Stephan Bonnar: The Forgotten Light Heavyweight Contender

T.P. GrantAnalyst INovember 9, 2008

The American Psycho is returning to the octagon in 2009, making it almost a full two years out due to injury and Stephan Bonnar hopes to pick up where he left off, with back-to-back wins in 2007. Bonnar has moved to Las Vegas and is training with former rival Forrest Griffin at Xtreme Couture.

Bonnar is a very well-rounded fighter with a strong background in wrestling, jiu-jitsu, and boxing and like his rival, has one of the best chins in the sport. Bonnar has only lost in a stoppage once, when undefeated karate machine Lyoto Machida opened a cut under Bonnar's eye.

It was early in Bonnar's career and he was totally out classed by Machida, who picked Bonnar apart. Bonnar learned from the experience and won his next three fights easily, earning a spot in the first Ultimate Fighter House, leading to the most famous fight in UFC history. Bonnar and Forrest epic fight launched Forrest's career, but Bonnar remained in the shadows.

Bonnar has since stood in with some of the finest strikers in the 205 weight class, defeating Keith Jardine and submitting James Irvin. Bonnar then lost a split decision to now top Light-Heavy Weight Contender Rashad Evans and a rematch with Griffin.

Bonnar's knee injury has cost him two years and many UFC fans have never seen him fight in anything but replays. His resume clearly states that he is an elite fighter and he has not rushed back to the octagon.

Bonnar will be in prime shape and undoubtedly he will be more refined in his action against UFC youngster Jon Jones. If Bonnar is able to shake off his rust and brush Jones aside look for Shogun Rua to use Bonnar as a test after his 'back in the saddle' match against Mark Coleman.