Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar are joining the hall of fame. Dana White announced this blockbuster at the UFC 160 fight post-conference. It was also revealed that Forrest Griffin would be retiring from mixed martial arts. Both of these fighters are known for their epic bout that took place at The Ultimate Fighter season 1 finale.
When Zuffa first purchased the UFC, there was a point where financially the Fertitta brothers were unsure if this was going to be successful. They just got their first season of The Ultimate Fighter under wraps and all that’s left was the finale. There was no renewal of another season at that point, so there was plenty to anticipate with this fight card and how successful it would be.
Forrest and Stephan brought the house down with their amazing bout. Standing toe-to-toe for the entire 15 minutes. This fight was far from a technical war, but it showed how much heart both of these fighters had. Willing to give it everything and ultimately having the crowd go insane.
Forrest ended up being the victor that night, but Bonnar was also awarded a six figure contract for his efforts. Zuffa was able to keep the TUF going for years to come and now they are on their way to mainstreaming the sport known as mixed martial arts.
Forrest’s last bout took place at UFC 148, where he was successfully able to complete his trilogy with “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz. Forrest’s career defining moment in the UFC, was when he defeated Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 86 for the light heavyweight championship.
Stephan Bonnar’s career didn’t have the same impact as Forrest, but it was still remarkable nonetheless. His last bout ended in controversy, he was defeated by pound-for-pound great Anderson Silva at UFC 153 and tested positive for steroids after the bout. Bonnar should be remembered as being as warrior. He brought an in-your-face style that was able to give the fans exactly what they wanted. His bouts were always exciting and whether he won or loss, he was able to get the fans to rally behind him and his fights.
What are your favorite memories of these two great athletes. Both are fan favorites and are deserving of their place in the hall of fame.