Esther Lin/ MMA Fighting
Five months after testing positive for steroids, Stephan Bonnar speaks out about his reasons for taking a banned substance prior to his bout against Anderson Silva at UFC 153, explaining he never meant to cheat and also talks about how the relationship he once had with Dana White is no more.
Stephan Bonnar's mixed martial arts (MMA) fight career was pretty much over, according to "The American Psycho" himself.
After not getting his desired third fight against friendly-rival Forrest Griffin, one of the men who helped the promotion become what it is today, Bonnar revealed he would consider calling it quits should that bout or another "big" fight not be granted.
Though he never really "officially" threw in the towel on his fighting career, his mind was pretty much already made up.
It's odd really, considering he was riding a three-fight winning streak. Company president Dana White kept advising him to hang up his fight gloves -- while his calls for a high-profile fight were going unanswered -- and that was enough for him to consider cashing in on his 401k early.
That's when he also decided there would be no harm in taking steroids for his surgically-repaired knee.
So, in went the banned substance and soon after, the phone rang. And on the other side of that call was the biggest fight he -- or any other MMA fighter -- could ever want.
A shot to face the pound-for-pound best, Anderson Silva.
But the damage had been done, as the steroids had already been taken. However, had he known the biggest fight of his career was going to be offered to him, he would have never taken the banned substance, as he revealed on his appearance on The MMA Hour, breaking his silence after five months:
"It's frustrating because here is the thing. The research will tell you that the detection for that particular one is like one or two months. When I took this fight, I had exactly three weeks to train and shed 35 pounds. Do you really think after I heard I was going to get this fight I would take something that was going to be in my system? No. The truth of the matter is, I've been out of action a long time and I'd been holding out trying to get the big fights and they weren't coming. I met with Dana multiple times and he told me straight up, 'What you're asking for is not going to happen and I think you should retire.' And we both kind of came to an agreement that the best thing for me to do is to retire."
According to Bonnar, he wasn't using Drostanolone to gain an advantage over his opponents, he was doing it for health reasons, to help his ailing knee after undergoing two stem cell procedures. And by all accounts, his fighting days were over, but, he wanted to get back into training to get his body right.
"Believe it or not, there are some therapeutic uses to some of the banned substances. Bottom line, I wanted to get my strength back. I was very weak. My body didn't feel good, my joints didn't feel good. That was my goal, just start training again and help other guys get better and make it part of my life because I was coming to grips that I wasn't going to fight again."
Bonnar said he doesn't regret taking the bout against Silva -- which he lost via first round knockout (KO) -- because he felt the substance would be out of his system come fight night. Unfortunately for him, it wasn't and because of it, he was suspended from fighting, which eventually lead to his official retirement.
On top of that, his very close relationship with White, whom often said Bonnar was like a son to him, has been strained to the point of absolutely no contact:
"That was the hardest thing, too. You know, there's no way if I thought there was any possibility of it showing up, that I would have taken the fight. I finally get the opportunity I've been begging for in vain for so long. I thought I'd go out there and put on a better fight, but then stuff like this happens. It's like I came to his house and took a shit on his carpet. It just kills me. I'm like, 'Come on, Dana, give me this opportunity,' and then I make him look like that. I'm really sorry. Dana and Lorenzo, I love those guys. I always wanted to be a part of the UFC and I always thought of it as the coolest thing ever and I worked really hard outside of the Octagon with all the TV work I've done, the merchandising, appearances, all the PR, going around talking to kids at school, going to boys' homes. That was really important to me, to be part of the UFC in ways other than fighting. That's been hardest thing for me. I worked so hard over the years doing all those things to kind of give myself a home in the UFC outside of the actual fighting part of it, and I feel I ruined that."
For his part, Bonnar says it would be best for him to not attempt to reach either White or Lorenzo for a good while:
"I feel the best thing for me to do is to respectfully piss off. It's not to sit there and go, 'Oh, come on Dana, give me another chance.' I fucked up and I'll put my tail between my legs and leave you guys alone for a while."
That decision is something that is hard for Bonnar to do, especially since many expected him to be part of the organization forever.
It's sad, really. While cheating is never, ever to be condoned, it seems in this case, Stephan wasn't taking the steroid with the intent of gaining an advantage over his opponent, because according to him, there was no one to gain an advantage over at that time.
What say you Maniacs? How do you take Bonnar's admission and comments? Could this all have been avoided had there been a better and more direct line of communication as far as fight and retirement plans go with Bonnar and UFC?
You've now heard both sides ... but are you buying "The American Psycho's" story?