Stephan Bonnar: A Legend Who Helped Save the UFC

Stephan Bonnar, a pioneer of the MMA world, died due to heart complications at the age of 45.

Bonnar was a 15-fight UFC veteran, The Ultimate Fighter finalist, and UFC Hall of Famer. He is often credited as being one of the most important figures in the sport’s history, as his fight with Forrest Griffin in 2005 helped to launch the UFC into the mainstream and turn it into the $4 billion international behemoth it is today.

The Ultimate Fighter, in which Bonnar and Griffin were featured, helped to change the public perception of MMA and dispell the stigma of “human cockfighting.”

The fight, which was the first to air live on television, helped to boost the UFC’s live gate and buyrate record, leading to a long-term broadcast deal with Spike TV. Bonnar’s loss in the fight ultimately became the sport’s gain, as the UFC has continued to grow and thrive since.

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