“He changed the sport forever”
UFC legend († 45) suddenly died
Due to heart problems, UFC legend Stephan Bonnar died unexpectedly at the age of 45.
UFC fighter Stephan Bonnar († 45, left) is dead.
Mourning in the UFC scene: Former MMA fighter Stephan Bonnar († 45) died unexpectedly on Thursday. The UFC announced this in a statement on Christmas Eve.
It states that the American died while working on the consequences of heart problems. Further information on the cause of death is not yet available.
Bonnar fought for the UFC for seven years and was considered one of the greatest in his field. In 2012, at the age of 35, he announced his retirement. In his career he has 17 wins and nine losses, in 2013 he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Defeat as a career highlight
He experienced the high point of his career in 2005: his fight against Forrest Griffin (43) in the final of the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter” went down as one of the most important and best fights in UFC history and laid the foundation for future TV contracts and the steep rise of the UFC.
Bonnar eventually loses the fight on points, but becomes a superstar overnight. “People recognized me everywhere – even in the most remote places. It was wild, »says the fighter later about the time after the big fight.
Son named after opponent
UFC President Dana White (53): “Stephan Bonnar was one of the most important fighters who ever competed in the octagon. His fight against Forrest Griffin changed the sport forever and he will never be forgotten. The fans loved him, were familiar with him and he always gave them his best. He will be missed».
The octagon legend is survived by his longtime partner and son Griffin, whom he named after the opponent in his greatest fight. (bjl)