The MMA community has been deeply saddened over the past week, as the original Ultimate Fighter finalist Stephan Bonnar passed away at the age of 45 on December 22, 2022.

Stephan Bonnar played a truly sizable part in growing the sport of MMA to what it is today, we have his TUF 1 finale bout against Forrest Griffin to thank for that.

UFC middleweight contender Sean Strickland recently went on record bashing those sending their condolences to Bonnar and his family:

“Stephan Bonnar just died and like my Instagram feed, Google is flooded with pictures of people like, ‘Hey, this is me and Bonnar training, we are buddies we used to hang out back in the day,’ like I’m going to post a picture about him and get double tap likes. But man, the Stephan Bonnar I knew was fucking nuts.”

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“He was addicted to opioids; he got arrested, got kick out of a hospital because they wouldn’t give him opioids, his gym went under during Covid. And you know me, I’m an asshole, I’m not going to post a picture and say, ‘rest in peace,’ I’m an asshole.

“But you fucking people that, like, after he died you post pictures of him in support and all this, like when this man was losing his shit, where were you? And I’m not saying you had to be there for him. But you weren’t there for him then, don’t be there for him now because now he doesn’t need it.”

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Stephan Bonnar, retiring at the end of 2014 with a record of 15-9, only ever lost to world champions. And, only one man ever truly finished him, former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

Bonnar suffered two doctor stoppage TKO defeats to former UFC light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, as well as Krzysztof Soszynski (the only non-world champion he lost to), which he avenged in their immediate rematch.

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His other defeats come to former UFC light-heavyweight champions Forrest Griffin twice (UD, UD), Rashad Evans (MD), Jon Jones (UD), former UFC and PRIDE heavyweight champion Mark Coleman (UD), and another former UFC light-heavyweight champion in Tito Ortiz (SD), who he fought in his only bout under the Bellator banner.

Thank you Stephan Bonnar for playing your part in our beloved sport, you will be missed :'(

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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.