Out of retirement, Stephan Bonnar feels no pressure heading into Anderson Silva bout


UFC Light Heavyweight Stephan Bonnar is no stranger to the limelight, having been one half of the fight versus Forrest Griffin that put modern MMA on the map in 2005. However, his next battle will be in the limelight of an entirely different sort. There, he will fight Anderson Silva at 205 lbs., in the long-standing Middleweight champion’s home country of Brazil. While absolutely no one is giving Bonnar a fair shake to win this fight, he insists that it is this exact reason why he is extremely excited for the impromptu bout from Rio:

“There isn’t anything bigger, he’s the best guy on everyone’s pound-for-pound list, he’s got 15 straight UFC victories, been a champion for six years or so. It’s great, though, because I feel like I have nothing to lose. Fighting Anderson in his backyard, I’m a record-setting underdog. I couldn’t ask for anything more.” – via MMAJunkie.com

Quite the far cry from miring in semi-retirement with a record of 14-7. Bonnar had been campaigning for a fight against famed outspoken Quinton Jackson, but Rampage was scheduled to fight Glover Texeira at UFC 153 before being forced to withdraw due to an injury. Still, Bonnar relishes the chance to take on the champ, and it is an odd bit of coincidence considering that if Bonnar’s historic TUF 1 bout with Griffin had never taken place, Silva might not be at the lofty position where he sits today. Bonnar continued on:

“Honestly, in my mind, I was retired. Before my last fight, I felt a lot of pressure. I was a 2-to-1 underdog against Kingsbury. But I still felt a lot of pressure because I knew I had to win – and had to win and win good because then I could campaign to get that fight with ‘Rampage’ Jackson. Then I could campaign to coach ‘TUF‘ against Forrest. I wasn’t going to fight again if I couldn’t get something like that. I really wasn’t. I tried hard. I went on a lot of TV shows and was in a lot of articles and even in my talk with Dana he was like, ‘That ain’t happening.’ So it’s like, ‘Damn,looks like I’m hanging it up.’It really went from me being retired to the biggest fight I could ever dream of having –overnight. Life is funny sometimes.”

Without being given a chance to win, Bonnar, the man who has never been knocked out or submitted, even by a young Jon Jones, closed on his detractors with a simple, yet profound, statement:

“I don’t care, though. I feel great about this. There’s no pressure on me. I’m fighting the pound-for-pound best guy in his backyard. I’m a record-setting underdog. It’s a good light-and-free feeling.”

Check out Karyn Bryant’s pre-fight interview with Stephan Bonnar, courtesy of MMA H.E.A.T., here:

  • i don’t want to see him get stopped in this fight!!

  • i have always been a bonner fan…….. that being said he should practice his flying ankle lock

  • Considering that he is a 13 to 1 underdog, I would think there wouldn’t be .

  • if bonnar doesnt win hopefully it will be the most epic three round fight ever. i really feel bonnar is gonna bring it. all the extreme nutt-hugging silva fans might be in for a shocker

  • He’s going in to it to have fun. What a great attitude.

  • I like his attitude here actually, sound logic. Win or lose it’s like he still wins because he stepped up, and there’s no way he can look worse than an awful lot of people.

  • It could happen. With his size and strength Bonner could win. That said it would be like Buster Douglas beating Tyson. Silva has utterly embarrassed guys that are so much more skilled. If he loses to Bonner it would be a total fluke.

  • Good For Bonnar! No matter what happens he is going out with his balls to the wall – What more do you want!
    AS is my favorite fighter – he’s the GOAT – but Bonnar is a good dude. All the best to him.

  • bonnars mind is at least in the right place i dont think he has a chance in hell to win but it is also never safe to look past someone who believes he has nothing to lose

  • Good luck Bonnar, you’re gonna need it

  • Of course an unranked fighter with absolutley no chance feels no pressure.

  • You definitely have nothing to lose with this fight, and I hope for that reason you stand up with him and put on a show win or lose

  • I see the Spider tiring him self out, beating on a Bonnar he can’t hurt, getting frustrated, and then in the third round Bonnar will ask him “is that all you got Silva?” and the Spider will loose all hope, all go and Bonnar will sink him…. Just like Ali did to Foreman in Zaire 1974….. Fighting ain’t about how well you can hit, it’s about how many hits you can take…. I have my money on Bonnar….

  • Why would he feel pressure? It’s a win win situation for bonnar…. … Well apart from the a$$’kicking of course.

    Also, I can’t believe Dana is against bonnar griffin tuf. Who cares about coaches rankings! The show is dying! Big country vs carwin? Gimme a break!

  • Bonnar is already preparing himself for the loss….!

    This is the worse matchup…

    The UFC are so full of shit with matchups…One minute a guy is in retirement, the next he is facing the pound for pound greatest fighter. The only person who deserves a shot is the number 2 guy.

  • are you saying that the pound for pound greatest fighter needs to fight the no2 p4p ? or the #2 in his division??
    secondly, if you think about it, anderson is fighting in a weight class that he has only fought in twice before, last time being what? 2hyrs ago? against another pretty non relevant LHW… so the reality is. (even though anderson would handily beat most LHW’s if not all) that he hasn’t necessarily worked his way up the LHW rankings yet and your argument is doodoo. The other thing is, WHO DOESNT WANT TO SEE MORE OF ANDERSON? ESPECIALLY AGAINST A GUY WHO CAN REALLY TAKE A SHOT.. that alone should be enough for you to think this is gonna be a good show, maybe it will be very one sided, but it should be interesting none the less.

  • “Fighting ain’t about how well you can hit, it’s about how many hits you can take”

    Dumbest comment in the history of ever.

  • When Silva fought Griffin he was not irrelevant. He had just lost the title in his last fight.

  • who on earth doesnt want to see bonnar and forest coaches on the next tuf?! think of the fight at the TUF event what an amazing way to bow out the same way he came in a blaze of glory on the show that made him and forrest!

  • i didn’t mean at the time, i meant now. Forrest isn’t exactly relevant… he’s maybe 10th or just outside top 10.. Although at the time he was just coming off being the champ, I never felt like forrest really deserved it. I dont think he beat rampage in that fight, and he definitely got pretty lucky against a weak shogun that night.. basically, even though he was champ, he was like #4lhw at the time… rashad,machida,rua, rampage were all better fighters than him.. heck, even some other guys were better… I think chuck would have smashed him then even, even jardine most likely would of won had he fought griffin then… i dunno, im just not a forrest fan, hes too slow and predictable, and he throws strikes for the fun of it, hardly ever are they REAL strikes where he see’;s an opening, it’s the formality of kicking and punching that he uses… which is why he’s so slow, and his power is questionable (and yes, he could kick my ass, for the guy whos gonna say something like ‘ooh why dont u say that to his face’ .. )

  • Look at where Ali is now

  • Bonnar has no chance against Anderson…. Easy win for The Spider… Of course Bonnar is happy to fight Anderson Silva… Easy money, and lot’s of attention coming in to this fight.. Yes Bonnar is a good MMA fighter.. Yet inside the octagon against Anderson Silva, well Bonnar absolutely sucks..

    People saying Bonnar might, or will win…. Is like me saying the world ends this December 21, 2012… F@ck No….No ..Just No….Life will go on, and Bonnar will get destroyed, and people will keep on hating on the champ, while GSP will still keep making excuses not to fight The Spider…….

  • shut up

  • Ali is, and will always be The Greatest.

  • Hey!!! It’s not cool to disrespect something Rocky Balboa has said!!!

    And even if Bonnar doesn’t win, he’s still be the winner in my eyes when he lasts to the end bell… He’s got nothing to loose. If the Spider knocks him out, people are just going to say that he knocked out a un-ranked fighter, but if Bonnar wins, or even just goes the full fight, he’s gonna be a hero in many peoples eyes. With alright.

  • Wrong sport – Home Boy.