There is a place that UFC veterans go when their services are no longer needed inside of the octagon.
Like when dogs pass away they all get to go to heaven, UFC’s fighters, retired or no longer relevant, all go to Bellator.
Their newest addition is UFC hall of famer and retiree, Stephan Bonnar.
The 37 year old fighter from Indiana, who is best known for his intense back or forth battle with Forrest Griffin on The Ultimate Fighter season one finale, retired in 2012 after a first round TKO to Anderson Silva, in which Bonnar used his ribs to block Silva’s barrage of knees.
Bonnar would later be busted for performance enhancing drugs and promptly retired soon after.
A year later Bonnar is inducted into the UFC hall of fame, less for his career in the UFC (8-7 record) and more for his ridiculous back and forth battle with Griffin that pretty much put MMA on the map in America.
Bonnar once proclaimed, “I wouldn’t fight for another promotion,” explaining his devotion to the UFC, the company that made him a household name.
Bonnar went on to say, “It’s about loyalty. More than anything, I take pride in being a part of the UFC and I wouldn’t want to screw that up.”
Well, it seems that Bonnar’s loyalty has an expiration date of about two years because the man known as the American phsyco has just signed a multi-fight contract with Bellator.
Bonnar’s first fight in Bellator in against another UFC retiree, in Tito Ortiz.
Unlike Bonnar, Ortiz actually had a legitimate impact in the UFC, winning the light heavyweight belt and defending it multiple times, but unlike Bonnar, Ortiz’s skills have diminished quite a bit over time, with injuries that would put normal men out of commission from life.
Bonnar has been caught multiple times for the usage of PED’s so that could explain his longevity and tremendous physique, but a fighter can’t be all brawn and no brains, which is Bonnar in a nut shell.
Bonnar built a career off of being able to take as much damage as he could dish out.
For not being the brightest bulb in the bunch, Bonnar has quite a repertoire of submissions, grappling and striking techniques to choose from. Unfortunately for Bonnar he was only able to put it all together a few times leading to a lackluster career in the UFC.
Now aging and most likely looking for another decent payday, Bonnar is in the D-league, like Stephan Marbury playing in China, looking for a taste of the glory days against lesser opponents.
Bonnar may have a decent shot in his upcoming bout against Ortiz but they may be it. Place him against one of the young lions on that Bellator roster and Bonnar will quickly remember why he retired in the first place.
Until then, the American phsyco has found a new home and for all I have written about him, I am still kind of excited to see what the old bull has left in the tank.