Back in 2005, Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar put on one of the greatest shows in UFC history, going to war for 15 minutes at The Ultimate Fighter finale, drawing thousands of new fans to the sport of MMA.
The fight has been called the most important in UFC history by many in the MMA industry over the years, and it might be the sole reason the UFC was given so much exposure from Spike TV during its tenure with the television station.
With the UFC looking to break into the mainstream after signing it’s huge deal with FOX earlier this year, the time has come for the organization to give the two a chance to recreate that magic and hope for lightning to strike twice.
Both Griffin and Bonnar currently reside in a similar place inside the light heavyweight division, sitting just outside of contention, and the matchup makes sense both from a matchmaking and promotional standpoint.
While the second fight between the two was a bit disappointing, as Griffin showed that he had improved far more than his TUF counterpart, Bonnar has looked better than he has in his entire career over the last couple of years. Griffin has fallen into a dangerous rut of inconsistency, going 5-4 since beating Bonnar for the second time.
With three big fights that have huge title implications already on the FOX card, the UFC needs to fill out the card with a high-profile fight between two guys who are stuck in the middle of the pack, and a third bout between Griffin and Bonnar seems to fit that role perfectly.
If the two are able to go out and put on a show that resembles their first fight, the effects will be realized immediately, as friends will call friends, ratings will climb and Dana White will once again be giving credit to two of his golden boys, as the UFC will be even closer to becoming the mainstream sport that he dreams about.