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Stephan Bonnar says he is 'kind of' retired, would return for big name fight

Photo of Stephan Bonnar by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.
Photo of Stephan Bonnar by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

He's one of the fighters who put Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) on the map, with his legendary and violent brawl against fellow Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season one contestant, Forrest Griffin.

Since that infamous night in April of 2005, Stephan Bonnar has gone on to take part in some of the bloodiest wars in the history of mixed martial arts (MMA).

Say what you want about "The American Psycho," but don't say he didn't bring it, every single time he entered into the cage to do battle.

Unfortunately for the 35-year old Bonnar, things have slowed down in his professional fighting career. After winning three fights in a row, Bonnar had trouble getting the kind of "big name fights" that he wanted from his bosses at Zuffa, prompting him to recently state that he has no interest in fighting anyone who does not have more Twitter followers than he does.

The cry went unanswered, as the UFC denied him the opportunity to serve as one of the coaches, along with longtime rival Forrest Griffin, for an upcoming season of TUF.

But is he willing to retire if he doesn't get his way?

During an interview with Spike TV's "MMA Uncensored Live," Bonnar addressed rumors of his potential retirement. According to him, retirement isn't his preference, but he just hasn't had any offers that have been worth his time:

"We'll see. Honestly, I've been doing this for 11 years. I'm gonna sick of this crap. So, I thought after my last win, 'Hey, I'm sick of fighting guys who don't have as many Twitter followers as me.' I wanna fight the guys that'll elevate me! I called out 'Rampage.' Didn't get that. I campaigned hard, and I thought for sure they'd let me and Forrest (Griffin) coach the show (TUF) -- didn't get that. Really, the one the fight they offered me, it's not gonna cut it. It's good though. It's like a blessing in disguise. During this down period, I actually set up a non-profit organization, 'Garrett's Fight.' It's this martial artist with Down's Syndrome, a really inspiring story about how martial arts changed his life and gave him something that he belongs to. With this organization, we're raising money so other kids like him can participate and belong in martial arts and get some fulfillment out of their lives."

Though Bonnar did not speculate as to the name of the fighter he was offered for his next bout, he did say that it was not a bout in which he was interested:

"I didn't take the fight, so I'm not fighting. I don't have anything lined up, but if something comes up, like a big fight that interests me, like Forrest or 'Shogun' (Rua) or (Dan) Henderson or a big name, you bet I'll jump on it!"

Following up on that point, Bonnar was asked if it would be accurate to declare him as "kind of retired."

He was neither confirming nor denying anything:

"That's a good way to put it."

In closing, the show's roundtable panel took turns talking about how Bonnar and his career will be defined, when it's all said and done.

Here's how Bonnar would summarize his career, if he had to do it himself:

"I fought every second of every fight I was in. I've never been stopped, legitimately, and I've only lost to champions. I've been hit with a ton of shots. I've never so much as acknowledged one of them."

For the time being, no official announcement has been made regarding Bonnar's retirement, one way or the other. But, the part-time fight, part-time MMA analyst and part-time MMA clothing maker sounds like he's getting closer and closer to hanging up the eight-ounce gloves.

What's your favorite Stephan Bonnar memory? And do you think he should call it career?

Opinions, please.

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