Stephan Bonnar, a finalist on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter and UFC Hall of Famer, has died. Check out what happened to him.
Stephan Bonnar : What happened to | How did die
Bonnar was born in Hammond, Indiana and raised in Munster, Indiana, attending Munster High School.
Bonnar had an extensive background in combat sports, beginning with Wrestling when he was 10 years old, Tae Kwon Do at age 12, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu at age 22, and then added Boxing and Muay Thai when he was 24 years old.
He earned his black belt in Tae Kwon Do at the age of 16 and was a two-time Golden Gloves Champion in the Super Heavyweight division.
He attended and graduated from Purdue University in 2000, earning a degree in Sports Medicine.
What happened to Stephan Bonnar
UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar, who made history as a finalist on the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” has died. He was 45.
The UFC announced the news Saturday, Christmas Eve, and cited heart complications at work as the cause of Bonnar’s death, which occurred Thursday.
A legend in the world of mixed martial arts, “The American Psycho” Bonnar served as one half of the fight many credit with turning around a then-struggling UFC.
Although he lost that bout at “The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale” against Forrest Griffin in April 2005, its impact was felt for generations to come. Eventually the bout was inducted into the Fight Wing of The UFC Hall of Fame in 2013.
“Stephan Bonnar was one of the most important fighters to ever compete in the octagon,” UFC President Dana White in a statement. “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.”
Bonnar competed 26 times as a professional, with 15 UFC appearances and one for Bellator. He made his pro debut in 2001, with his UFC debut eight fights later. Bonnar entered the UFC at 7-1, and although he lost the fight to Griffin, he won his next three.
He split his next four at 2-2 with losses to Rashad Evans and Griffin, and subsequent wins over Mark Nickals and Eric Schaefer. Bonnar then entered a three-fight skid with defeats to Jon Jones, Marc Coleman, and Krzysztof Soszynski. He won a rematch against Soszynski before defeating Igor Pokrajac and Kyle Kingsbury.
How did die
The UFC announced Bonnar’s passing in a statement on Saturday. The cause of death was revealed to be “presumed heart complications while at work.”
“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.”
Bonnar is perhaps best known was his time on “TUF 1,” where he reached the finals of the reality show and received a UFC contract after losing a unanimous decision to Griffin in a memorable clash on April 9, 2005. That bout was later enshrined in the UFC Hall of Fame’s “Fight Wing.”
That led to a seven-year career with the Las Vegas-based promotion that saw “The American Psycho” compile an 8-7 mark in the Octagon.
He earned wins over the likes of Keith Jardine, James Irvin and Krzysztof Soszynski and also squared off against noteworthy foes such as Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, Mark Coleman and Rashad Evans.
Bonnar initially announced his retirement following a loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 153 in October 2012, but he made a brief return to MMA two years later, falling to Tito Ortiz via split decision at Bellator 131 on Nov. 15, 2014.