Stephan Bonnar has signed with Bellator. Yes, THAT Stephan Bonnar, the same Bonnar that we last saw fight against Anderson Silva in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil nearly 2 years ago. It was less of a fight than it was one man’s immense skill and grace “tested” against a live target. And, let’s not forget that Bonnar did test hot (Drostanolone) after the fight he took on short notice.
It hasn’t all been negative for Bonnar’s time in the UFC. He did compete on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. He did have that amazing fight with Forrest Griffin in the TUF 1 finale. This has been called by many the single most important fight in MMA history. That fight was also Wrestling Observer’s 2005 Fight of the Year. Bonnar and Griffin both share the distinction of being on the receiving end of what some call Anderson Silva’s most amazing and breath taking performances in the Octagon.
Often called out for his brawling style, when you dig a little deeper into his resume you will see he has a fair share of submission victories, putting his Carlson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Black Belt to good use on many occasions.
But that is all the past. This is about his future with Bellator MMA. I’m wondering how much he has left in his fighting tank. He has a fight in mind actually, a certain fighter named Tito Ortiz.
“I want everyone to know I’m coming out of retirement because it’s time to free the MMA world of the virus that’s known as Tito Ortiz,” Bonnar said. “We’ve been suffering through his boring fights for too many years, and it’s about time that someone beats it out of him once and for all.”
On any street corner on this planet those are fighting words.
“Stephan is a guy that has been a huge part of this sport and we are excited have him part of the roster,” Bellator President Scott Coker said. “He was one half of probably the greatest and one of the most important fights in MMA history, and it happened on Spike. When you look at our Light Heavyweight division, with names like Rampage, Tito, King Mo, Emanuel Newton and others, there are a lot of fights Stephan can be involved in. Big fights against big names. After talking to Stephan, I know that’s what he wants, and we want to provide that to our fans.”
When and if any of those fights happen we can also harken back to his days of providing color commentary with the now defunct WEC. Bonnar gave his insight to 5 of the promotions final 7 events, and did a good job of it. I for one enjoy the work Jimmy Smith does in calling Bellator fights, but there are things along the lines of an on air personality for Stephan.
We shall see what exactly comes of this signing, Bonner is 37 and his prime fighting days are passed him.