Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin are often credited as saviors of the UFC for their epic tooth-and-nail battle on the finale of the very first Ultimate Fighter season.
That moment is forever etched in time as the make or break point for the current iteration of the UFC.
To say that Bonnar has a special place in UFC president Dana White’s heart would be an understatement. White, more than anyone, has constantly told the story of how Bonnar and Griffin’s fight pulled the UFC back from the brink of extinction.
Which is all the more reason why White was extremely disappointed when he found out that Bonnar tested positive for steroids following his UFC 153 headlining bout with Anderson Silva. That marked the second time in Bonnar’s career that he had tested positive for a steroid.
“I haven’t talked to him since,” White told MMAWeekly.com following UFC 154 on Saturday night in Montreal. “I don’t hate him. I just don’t want to talk to him.”
The fight with Silva was little more than a last gasp for Bonnar, who had already been contemplating retirement. When Silva stepped up and needed someone to fight, so that he could help save UFC 153 when the top end of the event fell apart, Bonnar saw an opportunity of a lifetime and didn’t pass it up.
“It sucks. I think the thing that bums me out the most about the Stephan Bonnar thing is that he didn’t tell me,” added White.
“He wasn’t planning on fighting. He said that he was practicing to maybe do some pro wrestling and whatever the excuse is. I’ve known Stephan for a long time. We have a great relationship. Tell me.”
Without a commission in place in Brazil to oversee UFC 153, the UFC regulated itself, hiring an outside agency to conduct drug testing.
Bonnar was handed down a 12-month suspension, but declared his retirement prior to the drug test becoming public.
Dave Herman also tested positive at UFC 153, but for marijuana, not steroids. The UFC handed him a six-month suspension with the added stipulation that he must participate in an approved rehabilitation program, which White confirmed on Saturday night that Herman agreed to.
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