Stephan Bonnar, one of the most important athletes in the formative stages of modern-day UFC fighting, passed away at the age of 45 last weekend more than eight years after walking away from combat sports.
In the days that followed his untimely passing, social media was flooded with tributes to the “American Psycho,” despite his personal struggles that included substance abuse and public outbursts.
UFC middleweight Sean Strickland has a problem with that.
“Stephan Bonnar just died and like my Instagram feed, Google it’s flooded with pictures of people like, ‘Hey, this is me and Stephan Bonnar training, we’re buddies, we used to hang out back in the day, I’m gonna go post a picture about him and get double tap likes,” the No. 7-ranked contender said on Instagram. “But like man the Stephan Bonnar I knew was fucking nuts. He was addicted to opioids, he got arrested, got kicked out of the hospital because they wouldn’t give him opioids, his gym went under during COVID.”
“You know me, I’m an asshole, I’m not gonna go post a picture like ‘Rest In Peace,’ I’m an asshole,” Strickland continued. “You (expletive) people that, like, after he died you post pictures of him in support and all this. Like when this man was losing his sh*t, where were you? And I’m not saying you had to be there for him. But you weren’t there for him then, don’t be there for him now because now he doesn’t need it.”
Bonnar passed away from “presumed heart complications while at work,” according to the promotion.
“Stephan Bonnar was one of the most important fighters to ever compete in the Octagon,” said UFC President Dana White. “His fight with Forrest Griffin changed the sport forever, and he will never be forgotten. The fans loved him, related to him and he always gave them his best. He will be missed.”
Bonnar retired with a 15-9 record which included 10 finishes.