Stephen Bonner Obituary, Death – Stephan Patrick Bonnar was an American professional wrestler and a professional mixed martial artist. He was born on April 4, 1977, and passed away on December 22, 2022. The majority of Bonnar’s career in the UFC was spent competing at the Light Heavyweight weight class. Bonnar finished in second place on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, and his fight against Forrest Griffin in the TUF Ultimate Finale is widely regarded as one of the most significant bouts in the annals of UFC history.
Bonnar has spent the majority of his mixed martial arts career playing the “role of the underdog.” This was most clearly demonstrated in the fight that took place between the two of them at UFC 153. Along with Griffin and Silva, Bonnar competed against other world champions such as Lyoto Machida, Tito Ortiz, Mark Coleman, Jon Jones, and Rashad Evans.
Although he was born in Hammond, Indiana, Bonnar spent his childhood and high school years in Munster, Indiana. He graduated from Munster High School. When Bonnar was 10 years old, he started wrestling. When he was 12, he started training in Tae Kwon Do, and when he was 22, he started training in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. When he was 24, he began training in boxing and muay Thai.
Bonnar has an extensive background in combat sports. At the age of 16, he was awarded the rank of black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and he won the Golden Gloves championship in the super heavyweight division on two separate occasions. He attended Purdue University for his undergraduate and graduate studies, earning a degree in Sports Medicine in the year 2000.
The wedding took place on October 30th, 2009 in Tuscany, Italy, and was attended by Bonnar and his longtime girlfriend. Griffin Brandon is the name given to the couple’s only child, who was named after Forrest Griffin and in honor of Andrea’s late brother, Brandon Brown. Bonnar was a big fan of the rock band The Who, and he used their song “Eminence Front” as the theme song to his entrance whenever he competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Aside from competing, Bonnar has provided commentary for televised mixed martial arts programming. He is most well-known for serving as the color commentator for the WEC for the majority of 2010, during which time he called five of their final seven cards. Additionally, he has appeared as a commentator on the series “MMA Live” that airs on ESPN2 and for UFC fights that are broadcast on the networks owned by Fox.
Following his retirement from competing in mixed martial arts, Bonnar was offered the position of president of North Star Combat, a mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion based in Minnesota. On October 28, 2018, Bonnar was detained by law enforcement in Nevada and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. At approximately 1:15 p.m., the Nevada highway patrol received multiple reports that a red Cadillac, which was owned by Bonnar and was being driven by Bonnar, was observed driving recklessly and making unsafe lane changes. The vehicle in question was reportedly being operated by Bonnar.
When the NHP arrived at the scene, they saw that Bonnar had both of his hands tied together and strung up to each side of the handles on the inside of his car. According to the eyewitnesses who were present, he made an attempt to flee the scene of the accident, so the people who were there had no choice but to “hog tie” him to the interior of his damaged vehicle. This entire interaction was captured by the body camera worn by the officer who responded to the call and later broadcast on the fourth season of the television show PD Cam.
Officers stated that they could smell alcohol on Bonnar’s breath as well as inside of Bonnar’s vehicle. Officers also claimed that they saw Bonnar driving while intoxicated. As a result of Bonnar’s refusal to comply with or respond to the officers’ commands, he was taken into custody at the scene and had to be carried and laid down in the back of the patrol car.
After that, he was taken to the detention center in Clark County, where he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and with resisting arrest. Bonnar passed away on December 22, 2022, when he was 45 years old. The UFC issued a statement indicating that it was presumed that Bonnar had passed away due to a heart-related complication while he was at work.