A lot of times the UFC gets things right when it comes to handling their talent. However, every so often the organization overlooks an outstanding opportunity such as in the case of how Stephan Bonnar’s career is currently being handled.
The 35-year old Bonnar has one three fights in a row and is one of the company’s most-recognizable competitors due to his exciting style, personality, and role as one of the two men involved in perhaps the most important fight the sport has ever seen. However, Bonnar hasn’t fought since November and may never take to the cage again based on the cold shoulder he’s received from UFC matchmakers.
Though “The American Psycho” certainly has the ability to continue fighting, his decision to prematurely retire is not necessarily crazy. He lobbied hard for a fight with Quinton Jackson and was overlooked in favor of Glover Teixeira. He rallied fans in support of a third go at Forrest Griffin preceded by a run as Ultimate Fighter coaches and was denied while watching Shane Carwin-Roy Nelson receive the honor instead. He’s also asked for a Top 10 opponent in his next bout, yet can’t seem to get a decent draw while the far less deserving Brandon Vera headlines UFC on FOX 4 against Mauricio Rua.
Simply put, the UFC is treating one of its most popular fighters like he’s little more than a mid-carder asking for respect he’s not owed. Also, beyond the countless contributions Bonnar has made to the company, as mentioned before he’s also won a trio of tilts in a row. Further adding to his claim for a highly-touted foe, Bonnar’s only legitimate career losses have involved former UFC champs (Mark Coleman, Rashad Evans, Griffin, and Jon Jones). He has fought the sport’s best, yet never actually been finished in his career minus a cut-based stoppage a few years back.
It’s time to let the UFC know how fans feel about the matter and in full force. If the obviousness of Bonnar’s worth is lost on the UFC, let’s not let the same be true where the sport’s supporters are concerned. Otherwise, a career that started so brilliantly inside the Octagon will end on a sad, sour note. Bonnar deserves better. MMA does too.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC