Stephan Bonnar Death: He Dies at The age of 45: History was made in the Ultimate Fighter season one finale when Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar squared off. After being acquired by Las Vegas casino moguls Lorenzo & Frank Fertitta, the UFC had been in dire financial straits for years. An attempt to break into the increasingly expanding reality TV business was somewhat of a desperate move—a desire to advertise MMA to individuals who are not already fans of combat sports.
More than the UFC could have ever hoped for was a spectacular brawl between two charismatic sluggers eager to disregard all safety precautions. With 30 seasons currently under its belt, The Ultimate Fighter has established itself as a pillar of the UFC’s commercial strategy thanks to its devoted fan base and high ratings.
When Griffin and Bonnar were inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame jointly in 2013, UFC president Dana White remarked, “There has never been a more important fight in the history of the UFC.” Never in the history of mixed martial arts has a battle been more significant.
Griffin eventually won the UFC championship. Throughout his seven-year UFC career, Bonnar frequently traded victories and losses. Still, despite this, he remained a fan favorite because of his willingness to compete with what seemed like reckless abandon for his safety. The “American Psycho” ended his career in MMA competition in 2014 with a 15-9 record after one match in Bellator.
The UFC family is saddened by the passing of UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar. We send our sincerest condolences to his family and friends.
— UFC (@ufc) December 24, 2022
Bonnar participated in indie wrestling after leaving the realm of mixed martial arts, making a cameo in Impact Wrestling in 2019. In the fall of 2021, Bonnar reportedly fractured his back at a wrestling event, significantly limiting his professional wrestling career.
When Bonnar and his wife lost their Las Vegas house to a fire in 2022, problems surfaced again. Through a campaign, which included a $4,000 gift from former UFC champion Tyron Woodley, the pair raised over $10,000.
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The UFC revealed that Bonnar passed away on December 22 in a statement on their website. Later, the news was confirmed by MMA Fighting. According to initial reports, he most likely passed away from “presumed heart difficulties while at work,” even though the precise cause of death has not yet been disclosed.
“Stephan Bonnar was one of the most important fighters to ever compete in the Octagon,” said UFC President Dana White. “His fight with Forrest Griffin changed the sport forever, and he will never be forgotten. The fans loved him, related to him and he always gave them his best. He will be missed.”