Stephan Bonnar

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Stephan Bonnar
BornStephan Patrick Bonnar
(1977-04-04) April 4, 1977 (age 44)
Hammond, Indiana, United States
Other namesThe American Psycho
Height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)
Light Heavyweight
Reach80 in (200 cm)
StyleBJJ, kickboxing, boxing.
Fighting out ofLas Vegas, Nevada, United States
Teacher(s)Carlson Gracie, Sergio Penha
RankBlack belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Sergio Penha
Black belt in Tae Kwon Do
Years active2001–2012, 2014 (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout3
By submission7
By decision5
By knockout3
By decision6
UniversityPurdue University
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Stephan Patrick Bonnar (born April 4, 1977) is an American professional wrestler and retired professional mixed martial artist. Bonnar competed as a Light Heavyweight in the UFC for most of his career. Bonnar was the runner-up on The Ultimate Fighter 1, his TUF Ultimate Finale loss to Forrest Griffin is considered to be one of the most important fights in the history of the UFC.[1] He is currently under contract for Bellator MMA. For most of his MMA career Bonnar played the "role of the underdog", this is particularly exemplified in his fight with Anderson Silva at UFC 153. In addition to Griffin and Silva, Bonnar faced world champions Lyoto Machida, Tito Ortiz, Mark Coleman, Jon Jones, and Rashad Evans.


Bonnar was born in Hammond, Indiana and raised in Munster, Indiana, attending Munster High School.[2] Bonnar has an extensive background in combat sports, beginning 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.[3]

Early career[edit]

Bonnar began training Brazilian jiu-jitsu with the legendary Carlson Gracie during the summer of 1999, under whom he received his purple belt before Carlson's passing. During his tenure as a student of Carlson Gracie's he was given the nickname Robocop. This experience has led to most of his bouts ending by way of submission. Stephan now trains Brazilian jiu-jitsu in Las Vegas under Master Sergio Penha. However, he also has trained in Muay Thai during several trips to Thailand. Since the beginning of 2010 Bonnar has been training Muay Thai in Las Vegas under Master One Kick Nick Blomgren at One Kick's Gym.

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Due to his strong performance in the Light Heavyweight finals, where he lost a unanimous decision to Forrest Griffin in a back and forth fight, Bonnar was awarded a six-figure UFC contract along with Griffin.

Bonnar in 2007.

After his loss to Griffin, Bonnar became the staple of the regular UFC Ultimate Fight Night shows at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, defeating such notables as Sam Hoger, James Irvin and Keith Jardine before succumbing to Rashad Evans by way of majority decision. In 2006 Bonnar lost a unanimous decision against Forrest Griffin in the long-anticipated rematch at UFC 62. After UFC 62, Bonnar tested positive for the banned substance Boldenone, a type of anabolic steroid. The commission issued a nine-month suspension on Bonnar's fighter's license and fined him $5,000.[4]

Bonnar was forced to withdraw from his fight against Matt Hamill at UFC Fight Night 13 due to a serious knee injury he suffered during training. He returned to action at UFC 94 against Jon Jones, which resulted in a loss via decision. In his next fight at UFC 100 Bonnar lost a unanimous decision to Mark Coleman.

Bonnar mentioned on the MMA Live Post Fight Show for UFC 101 that he was considering a drop down to Middleweight after two disappointing losses at Light Heavyweight. Despite this, Bonnar next faced Krzysztof Soszynski on February 21, 2010 at UFC 110.[5] Soszynski was victorious at 1:04 in the third round, due to TKO (Cut). Video replays that showed that the cut was opened up by a clash of heads led Bonnar to appeal referee John Sharp's decision. It was announced on March 10 that he had lost the appeal and the result would stand as a TKO win for Soszynski.[6]

At UFC 116, Bonnar won the rematch with a second-round TKO against Soszynski after catching him with a knee. The win broke Bonnar's three fight losing streak, bringing his UFC record to 6-6. The fight earned Bonnar and Soszynski Fight of the Night honors alongside Yoshihiro Akiyama and Chris Leben's fight.

Bonnar fought Igor Pokrajac on December 4, 2010 at The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale.[7] He won the bout via unanimous decision (29–26, 29–26, and 29–26).

Bonnar was expected to face Karlos Vemola on August 14, 2011 at UFC on Versus 5.[8] However, Bonnar was forced to withdraw from the bout due to an injury and was replaced by Ronny Markes.[9]

Bonnar faced Kyle Kingsbury on November 19, 2011 at UFC 139.[10] Bonnar defeated Kingsbury by unanimous decision (30–27, 30–25, and 30–27).

Bonnar campaigned for a spot as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter against Forrest Griffin, going as far to state that he would, "Not go for any takedowns, not block any punches, and always move forward."

With the UFC needing to replace the main event at UFC 153, they turned to Bonnar and Anderson Silva to fill the spot left empty by injuries. The two UFC vets squared off in a Light Heavyweight match October 13, 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Silva won the fight via TKO. Bonnar tested positive for anabolic steroids after the fight (Drostanolone).[11]

After his loss to Silva it was announced on October 30, 2012 by UFC president Dana White that Bonnar has retired from MMA competition.[12]

UFC Hall of Fame[edit]

Shortly after the announcement of Forrest Griffin's retirement, Dana White announced that Bonnar and Griffin would be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. Bonnar and Griffin were officially inducted on July 6, 2013.[13]

Bellator MMA[edit]

On August 27, 2014, Bellator MMA announced they had signed Bonnar to a multi-fight deal.[14] Bonnar faced Tito Ortiz on November 15, 2014 at Bellator 131[15] and lost via split decision.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Impact Wrestling and Independent circuit (2017–2019)[edit]

On April 8, 2017 Stephan made his pro wrestling debut at Smashmouth Pro Wrestling's event Smashfest in a Battle Royal.

On August 1, 2017, House of Glory, a New York City independent wrestling company announced that Bonnar would be stepping into a wrestling ring for the first time ever to face another former UFC fighter and independent wrestler, Matthew Riddle. However Riddle backed out and he faced Sho Tanaka from NJPW instead. On December 2, 2017, "Speedball" Mike Bailey defeated Bonnar at IWS Season's Beatings in Montreal.[16]

On September 14, 2019, Bonnar faced Moose in a losing effort at Impact Wrestling's Victory Road 2019.[17]

During the Impact Wrestling October tapings from Las Vegas, Bonnar faced Moose in a repeat of their contest from Victory Road. The re-match was used as part of Moose's buildup towards a match against Ken Shamrock at Bound for Glory later that month. The commentators said that Bonnar had been chosen as he was from a similar background and is a similar type of wrestler to Shamrock, therefore viewed as an ideal warmup for Moose. However, Shamrock then made an unexpected appearance and put Moose in his signature Ankle Lock - thus adding more 'heat' to the storyline.

Personal life[edit]

Stephan and his longtime girlfriend were married on October 30, 2009 in Tuscany, Italy. The couple have one son, Griffin Brandon, named after Forrest Griffin and in memory of Andrea's late brother, Brandon Brown.[18]

Bonnar is a fan of the rock band The Who and used their song "Eminence Front" as his entrance music to his UFC fights. Outside of competition, Bonnar has done commentary work for televised MMA programming, notably serving as the WEC's color commentator for most of 2010, calling 5 of their final 7 cards. He has also made appearances as an analyst on the ESPN2 series MMA Live and for UFC broadcasts on the Fox television networks.

On October 28, 2018, Bonnar was arrested in Nevada and charged with DUI. At approximately 1:15 p.m., the Nevada highway patrol received multiple reports that there was a red Cadillac, a vehicle owned and being driven by Bonnar, observed driving recklessly and making unsafe lane changes. When the NHP arrived on scene, they witnessed Bonnar had both hands tied and strung up to each side of his inside car handles. The pedestrians on scene said he attempted to flee the scene of the accident, so they were forced to "hog tie" him to the inside of his wrecked vehicle. This entire exchange was recorded via the responding officer's body cam and aired on the television shows season 4 of PD Cam. Officers also claimed that they could smell alcohol on Bonnar's breath and inside of Bonnar's vehicle. Bonnar was arrested on scene, refused to comply or respond to officers commands, and had to be carried and laid inside the back of the patrol car. He was then taken to the Clark County detention center where he was charged with DUI and resisting arrest.[19]

After retiring from the mixed martial arts, Bonnar was appointed as the president of North Star Combat, a Minnesota-based MMA promotion.[20]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
24 matches 15 wins 9 losses
By knockout 3 3
By submission 7 0
By decision 5 6
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 15–9 Tito Ortiz Decision (split) Bellator 131 November 15, 2014 3 5:00 San Diego, California, United States
Loss 15–8 Anderson Silva TKO (knees to the body and punches) UFC 153 October 13, 2012 1 4:40 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Post-fight announced MMA retirement. Bonnar tested positive for Drostanolone.
Win 15–7 Kyle Kingsbury Decision (unanimous) UFC 139 November 19, 2011 3 5:00 San Jose, California, United States
Win 14–7 Igor Pokrajac Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale December 4, 2010 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 13–7 Krzysztof Soszynski TKO (punches) UFC 116 July 3, 2010 2 3:08 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Fight of the Night.
Loss 12–7 Krzysztof Soszynski TKO (doctor stoppage) UFC 110 February 21, 2010 3 1:04 Sydney, Australia Bonnar's cut was a result of an inadvertent headbutt.
Loss 12–6 Mark Coleman Decision (unanimous) UFC 100 July 11, 2009 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 12–5 Jon Jones Decision (unanimous) UFC 94 January 31, 2009 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 12–4 Eric Schafer TKO (punches) UFC 77 October 20, 2007 2 2:47 Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Win 11–4 Mike Nickels Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 73 July 7, 2007 1 2:14 Sacramento, California, United States
Loss 10–4 Forrest Griffin Decision (unanimous) UFC 62: Liddell vs. Sobral August 26, 2006 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Bonnar tested positive for boldenone after the fight.
Loss 10–3 Rashad Evans Decision (majority) UFC Fight Night 5 June 28, 2006 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 10–2 Keith Jardine Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night 4 April 6, 2006 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 9–2 James Irvin Submission (kimura) UFC Fight Night 3 January 16, 2006 1 4:30 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 8–2 Sam Hoger Decision (unanimous) UFC Ultimate Fight Night August 6, 2005 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 7–2 Forrest Griffin Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale April 9, 2005 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 Light Heavyweight tournament final. Fight of the Year (2005).
Win 7–1 Sean Sallee Submission (triangle choke) IHC 7-The Crucible June 5, 2004 1 2:28 Hammond, Indiana, United States
Win 6–1 William Hill TKO (punches) Total Fight Challenge 1 April 24, 2004 1 N/A Hammond, Indiana, United States
Win 5–1 Brad Lynde Submission (rear-naked choke) IHC 6: Inferno November 22, 2003 1 4:10 Hammond, Indiana, United States
Loss 4–1 Lyoto Machida TKO (doctor stoppage) Jungle Fight 1 September 13, 2003 1 4:21 Manaus, Brazil
Win 4–0 Terry Martin Decision (unanimous) Maximum Fighting Challenge September 7, 2002 1 10:00 Hammond, Indiana, United States
Win 3–0 Jay Massey Submission (guillotine choke) UA 1: The Genesis January 27, 2002 1 1:09 Hammond, Indiana, United States
Win 2–0 Josh Kruger Submission (armbar) IHC 3: Exodus November 10, 2001 1 2:55 Hammond, Indiana, United States
Win 1–0 Brian Ebersole Submission (guillotine choke) IHC 3: Exodus November 10, 2001 1 0:51 Hammond, Indiana, United States

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Stephan Bonnar Bio". 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
  2. ^ Erickson, Matt (24 August 2011). "Munster native Stephan Bonnar draws Kyle Kingsbury at UFC 139 in San Jose". Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "When Can The UFC Expect To See Alistair Overeem's Return To Competition?". Bloody Elbow. June 21, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
  5. ^ "Stephan Bonnar vs. Krzysztof Soszynski expected for UFC 110". Archived from the original on 2009-11-09. Retrieved 2009-11-07.
  6. ^ Stephan Bonnar loses UFC 110 appeal, welcomes rematch with Krzysztof Soszynski Archived 2010-03-12 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "TUF 12 Finale: Stephan Bonnar vs Igor Pokrajac booked for Dec. 4 in Las Vegas". Retrieved 2010-09-04.
  8. ^ "Stephan Bonnar vs. Karlos Vemola targeted for UFC on Versus 5". May 10, 2011. Archived from the original on May 13, 2011.
  9. ^ "Bonnar Injured; Newcomer 'Markes' in for UFC Live 5". June 17, 2011.
  10. ^ "Stephan Bonnar vs. Kyle Kingsbury added to UFC 139 in San Jose". August 23, 2011. Archived from the original on October 21, 2011.
  11. ^ Morgan, John; Erickson, Matt (November 2, 2012). "Stephan Bonnar, Dave Herman fail UFC 153 drug tests, await potential suspensions". Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
  12. ^ "Stephan Bonnar Retiring from MMA". October 30, 2012.
  13. ^ "Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar Will Enter UFC Hall of Fame Together in July". May 26, 2013.
  14. ^ "UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar signs with Bellator, could do commentary". August 27, 2014.
  15. ^ "Tito Ortiz-Stephan Bonnar, Will Brooks-Michael Chandler set for Nov. 15 Bellator". September 5, 2014.
  16. ^ "IWS Season's Beatings 2017 Results", International Wrestling Syndicate, Retrieved on December 03, 2017.
  17. ^ "IMPACT Results: Victory Road 2019 – Enid, OK (9/14)". September 14, 2019.
  18. ^ Iole, Kevin (October 1, 2012). "Stephan and Andrea Bonnar contemplating naming unborn son after former foe Forrest Griffin". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
  19. ^ "UFC veteran Stephan Bonnar arrested for DUI by Nevada Highway Patrol". October 29, 2018.
  20. ^ Danny Segura (April 26, 2020). "Now president of North Star Combat, Stephan Bonnar hopes to land UFC Fight Pass streaming deal".

External links[edit]