If you’re a Stephen Bonnar fan like me and have been following him meticulously lately, then you have heard the news of his retirement. Bonnar is no longer a fighter for the UFC. Yesterday, Dana White officially announced Bonnar’s retirement. Bonnar’s final fight against Anderson Silva ended in the first round via TKO. When I saw him go down and stayed down, it only reasserted my belief that his time in the UFC was drawing to a close. Many of his fans knew this was coming for a long time and many of us aren’t surprise. But for many of us, we can’t help but feel a bittersweet notion and here’s why I’m going to miss that psycho.
What’s in a name? I always found it ironic that Bonnar’s ring name was The American Psycho. For every interview I’ve seen with Bonnar he always came across as kind, funny, humble and about as down to earth a professional fighter could be. Yet his performances in the ring were a sharp contrast. Bonnar was never known for technical prowess, but he was known for being one tough sob.
In an interview with Ariel Helwani before his last fight, he likened himself to Chuck Wepner, who was known as The Bayonne Bleeder. There’s no doubt Bonnar was a bleeder and like Wepner, a brawler. I know technically speaking; a more technical fighter should be more interesting to watch. But let’s face it; people love to watch fighters bleed and brawl. The brawlers are wonderful incarnations of heart and dedication.
Bonnar may not have been the best technical fighter around, but he sure as hell had heart. Bonnar’s heart was always in the fight and not the fame. Bonnar has indicated that he finds real value in the experience of the fight and not necessarily the outcome. I truly admire, respect and can personally identify with this philosophy. I’m certain Bonnar isn’t the only fighter in the UFC to feel the same way about the fight, but he was one of the few to admit it.
Bonnar’s career in the UFC was not one of remarkable success, but it is one worth remembering. Although not always the victor, he was always an entertainer in and outside the ring. Bonnar’s relatable personality and style of fighting is a rare thing to find in this sport that I and his fans will miss. So I say this: Bonnar I’m going to miss you, you reasonably grounded in reality, lovable psycho.