Fighters react to Stephan Bonnar’s sudden death at 45: ‘Changed the landscape of the sport’. Bonnar, known as “The American Psycho,” was a finalist in the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter”.
Several professional fighters took to social media to respond to the sudden death of UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar, who passed away Thursday. He was 45.
The UFC announced Saturday that Bonnar died of “presumed heart complications” on Dec. 22, prompting several people including UFC President Dana White and others to remember his legacy and impact on the sport.
In a statement, White highlighted the role of Bonnar, who donned the nickname “The American Psycho,” in getting “The Ultimate Fighter” series off the ground.
Bonnar, a finalist in the first season, is widely credited as a pioneer behind the early success of UFC following his thrilling back-and-forth three-round clash with season 1 winner Forrest Griffin at TUF Finale on April 9, 2005.
“Stephan Bonnar was one of the most important fighters to ever compete in the Octagon,” the UFC president said.
Former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar commented: “Stephan Bonner a key piece to the growth of our sport. I remember watching him and Forest battling it out and thinking, I gotta try this out. RIP to a true pioneer!”
BJ Penn, another former lightweight champion, added: “RIP Legend.”
“Terrible news. One of the nicest guys in MMA,” he added in another tweet.
UFC welterweight fighter Michael Chiesa similarly remarked: “My condolences go out to Stephan Bonnar’s family. His fight with Forrest Griffin changed the landscape of the sport of MMA and pushed it to the next level. He’s a big part of the reason we are here today.”
UFC flyweight Cody Durden added: “Rest In Peace to the man who helped keep the sport alive! Prayers up for your friends, and family!”
Former Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping also chimed in. As did longtime UFC referee John McCarthy.