Legendary Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Bellator MMA fighter, Stephan Bonnar, has passed away at just 45 years old.
UFC shared the unfortunate news on social media this afternoon (Sat., Dec. 24, 2022) that Bonnar had passed away. MMAmania.com was able to confirm with a source close to the situation of the tragic death.
No cause of death has been released at this time
“The UFC family is saddened by the passing of UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar. We send our sincerest condolences to his family and friends.”
The UFC family is saddened by the passing of UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar. We send our sincerest condolences to his family and friends.— UFC (@ufc) December 24, 2022
Bonnar is one of the reasons UFC is the juggernaut it is today. He competed on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter in 2005, and in the finale, he battled Forrest Griffin in one of the most legendary fights ever. “The American Psycho” was awarded a UFC contract despite losing a close decision that night and went on to fight 14 times with the promotion.
16 years ago today, Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar went to war in the most important fight in UFC history.— Alex Behunin (@AlexBehunin) April 9, 2021
Do you remember where you were?pic.twitter.com/31XgIbuhS5
Bonnar retired from the sport after losing Anderson Silva in 2013 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside Griffin for their legendary fight. However, the self-imposed hiatus was short-lived because Bonnar came out of retirement and signed with Bellator. He fought Tito Ortiz and dropped a split decision, only to retire again.
Bonnar would transition to professional wrestling after his MMA career, making appearances on the independent circuit and then wrestling for Impact Wrestling.
oh so we’re upset with USA Pro now? an organization that gave us this amazing Stephan Bonnar elbow drop pic.twitter.com/rjFkNYm2LG— ♂️ (@jockonimus) October 18, 2022
It is absolutely heartbreaking news that Bonnar has passed away at such a young age. Everyone at MMAmania.com sends our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.