UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar has passed away at the age of 45. UFC announced the tragic news earlier today, stating that he had passed away on December 22. According to the UFC, he was reported to have died due to suspected heart complications while at work, and the UFC has released an official statement. On Twitter, the official UFC account wrote, “The UFC family is saddened by the passing of UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar. We extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends.” Bonnar is survived by his son, and our thoughts are with all of Bonnar’s family and friends.
UFC also highlighted Bonnar’s amazing career and what he meant for UFC to become the powerhouse it is today in a post on UFC.com. Bonnar was a competitor during season one of The Ultimate Fighter in 2005, and his fight with Forrest Griffin would go on to become one of the most revered fights of all time, and the fight was later placed in the UFC Hall of Fame fight wing.
The UFC family is saddened by the passing of UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar. We extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends.
— UFC (@ufc) December 24, 2022
UFC President Dana White also spoke about what Bonnar’s contributions meant to UFC’s growth, and how that fight changed the sport and UFC’s trajectory.
“Stephan Bonnar was one of the most important fighters ever in the Octagon,” White said. “His fight with Forrest Griffin changed the sport forever and he will never be forgotten. The fans loved him, were related to him and he always gave them the best of himself. He will be missed.”
That fight would launch Bonnar into a new stratosphere and see him face off against some of the best the sport had to offer, including Anderson Silva, Tito Ortiz, Griffin, Rashad Evans, James Irvin, Keith Jardine and more. His career record was 17-9, and in an interview Bonnar talked about that first match with Griffin and what he got the most out of it.
“It was kind of a little lesson,” Bonnar said. “If you never give up, you really can’t fail. That was the perfect example of that. Give it all you’ve got and something good will come out of it.”
Our thoughts are with Bonnar’s family and friends.