Article

From TUF to the HOF: The Journey of Griffin and Bonnar

"It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever done." - Forrest Griffin
Griffin vs. Bonnar IEight years ago in Las Vegas, Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar went to battle inside the Octagon to determine who would become the original Ultimate Fighter. Over the course of the gritty, three round affair, both men put it all on the line, and the outcome became an instant classic that launched a new era in mixed martial arts.

The bout created an eternal link between Griffin and Bonnar, and last Saturday morning at the UFC Fan Expo, they took another step into the record books as they were officially inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.

The induction comes as a fitting bookend to the recently retired TUF alums’ respective careers, as both fighters have left their marks on the sport of mixed martial arts. In addition to “The Fight” being largely credited with recharging Zuffa’s heartbeat in the MMA world, Griffin and Bonnar each had memorable careers to look back on.

The 34-year-old Griffin carried the momentum from his TUF win into the light heavyweight ranks and eventually went on to become the champion of the 205-pound division. While Bonnar never experienced the same caliber of success as his counterpart, the “American Psycho” became a fan favorite for his willingness to trade leather with a collection of the sport’s best fighters.

Following the ceremony, Griffin and Bonnar shared their thoughts on entering the UFC Hall of Fame.

 “Obviously it’s an honor,” Griffin said. “It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever done. What else do you hope for? It’s very cool for me because in other sports like football, basketball and baseball, guys like Jerry Rice have to wait five or seven years to be in the Hall of Fame. I definitely like the immediacy of it and it helps to lighten the load of not being able to compete at the level I would like to.

“I just want to thank these guys for letting me be a part of this organization,” Bonnar offered. “Not just fighting in the cage, but all aspects of the organization. I love this sport more than anything and it’s been really hard letting all of that go and moving on. I want to thank the UFC for everything.

With their careers now behind them, Griffin and Bonnar are now faced with the difficult task of moving on from life inside the cage. Leaving the heat of competition can be a difficult task for athletes to overcome and the recent Hall of Fame inductees are no different.

“I was chosen for the show in 2004, and ever since then, my life has been all UFC,” Bonnar said. “Not just fighting, but everything I’ve done outside of fighting as well. Working as an analyst on different networks and calling the WEC fights were great experiences. I couldn’t tell you who was running for president but I could tell you everything about every fighter on the undercard. This last year has been really tough for me. It’s been retirement and putting the sport behind me. I’m trying to unveil the new chapter in my life and when I sat down and peeled all those versions of myself away, the one thing I had in common with every version of myself was the UFC.”

“Right now, I don’t know what is going to fill that void,” Griffin added. “There is definitely something to fighting - the highs and lows, the emotional input and output - I don’t know any other way to recreate that. Doing a Masters Division in a grappling tournament is not going to satisfy my need for competition. I have a need for competition. I like it and I enjoy it. I like to push myself. It’s fun and that’s why I fought. Athletic or not, I was built for fighting.

“I’m still a little disappointed about my body quitting and not being able to compete. It makes you look back at all the things you did wrong, things you didn’t handle well, poor performances, etc. There are a lot of regrets and I would change a lot if I could. But if I had to choose between this happening or not happening in my life, I would certainly pick it happening. There were a lot of positives for sure. But you always want more.”


Take a look back at the careers of Hall of Famers Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar

토요일, 8월 27
8PM/5PM
ETPT
Vancouver, BC

미디어

최근
UFC 역사에 남을 UFC 202 대회의 백스테이지와 대기실로 들어가보자. UFC 역대 최고의 메인이벤트 중 하나였던 코너 맥그리거-네이트 디아즈 대결에 대해 주로 살펴본다. 전체 비디오는 UFC 파이트패스에서 독점 공개한다.
2016. 8. 24
UFC 해설자 조 로건이 예상하는 UFN 밴쿠버 메인이벤트 데미안 마이아-카를로스 콘딧 웰터급 대결. 대회는 이번 일요일(한국시각) 스포 TV를 통해 중계된다.
2016. 8. 24
오랜 기간 옥타곤 복귀를 기다려온 페이지 밴전트가 벡 롤링스를 상대로 밴쿠버에서 복귀전을 치른다. 밴전트는 이번 대진 및 '스타와 함께 춤을' 출연 경험에 대해 이야기 한다.
2016. 8. 24
포레스트 그리핀과 맷 파리노가 최신 발표 UFC 랭킹에 대해 분석한다. 해설진은 코너 맥그리거-네이트 디아즈 2차전, 웰터급에서 활동 중인 도널드 세로니, 코디 가브런트에 대해 토론하며 UFN 밴쿠버 대회에 대해서도 간략하게 알아본다.
2016. 8. 24