It’s been called the most important fight in UFC history. And for that matter, it may be the most important fight in MMA history in terms of opening the floodgates for the sport to reach a wider audience.

A week from today, Forrest Griffin (19-7 MMA, 10-5 UFC) and Stephan Bonnar (15-8 MMA, 8-7 UFC) will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, and they’ll go in largely on the strength of their first fight in 2005.

Griffin and Bonnar met in the light heavyweight finals of the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” In the live finale, the two slugged it out for three rounds. It was far from a technical affair, but there were big momentum swings, and neither fighter stopped coming forward trying to end the fight to win the guaranteed UFC contract.

The fight was so entertaining that the viewership on Spike TV, which broadcast the first season of “TUF” and 13 subsequent seasons, was reported to have risen in great leaps during the fight. UFC President Dana White always attributed that to people watching live at the start calling people to tell them they needed to check this thing out.

Griffin, of course, won a close unanimous decision. When Bruce Buffer announced him as the winner, Bonnar fell to his knees, exasperated. But soon after, White took the microphone and let the world know Bonnar was getting a six-figure contract with the UFC, as well.

On July 6, at the UFC Fan Expo at Mandalay Bay Convention Center before UFC 162 in Las Vegas, where Griffin and Bonnar now live, White will induct the two into the UFC Hall of Fame, where they’ll join Tito Ortiz, Matt Hughes, Chuck Liddell, Charles “Mask” Lewis, Mark Coleman, Randy Couture, Dan Severn, Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie.

Griffin went on to beat Quinton Jackson for the light heavyweight title a little more than three years after his first fight with Bonnar. (The two rematched 18 months after their first fight, and Griffin again took a unanimous decision.) But at UFC 92, in his first defense, he lost the belt to Rashad Evans.

After that, Griffin went 3-2 with losses to Anderson Silva (in a non-title fight at 205 pounds) and Mauricio Rua, but a pair of decision wins over Tito Ortiz in their trilogy and a win over Rich Franklin. Griffin’s last eight fights in the UFC all came against champions or former champions.

Bonnar’s UFC career was a little more erratic. After his first fight with Griffin, he won three straight before dropping a majority decision to Evans. But after his second loss to Griffin, he tested positive for steroids and was fined and suspended. He returned to a two-fight win streak, but then dropped three straight to Jon Jones in the current champ’s second UFC fight, Mark Coleman and Krzysztof Soszynski.

He avenged the loss to Soszynski in a “Fight of the Night” performance at UFC 116 and then beat Igor Pokrajac and Kyle Kingsburgy, dominating each on the scorecards. After nearly a year off, he stepped in on short notice to help save UFC 153 in a non-title fight against Silva in Brazil. He lost with a first-round TKO as a heavy underdog – but again tested positive for steroids after the bout, which effectively was his retirement fight.

In the above video, you can see the full fight between Griffin and Bonnar at the TUF 1 Finale in Las Vegas.

And for the latest on UFC 162, as well as the accompanying UFC Fan Expo, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Invicta 14: Early Preview and Predictions

  • 2 days ago
  • 5 views

An important all-women's event is on the horizon, as Invicta 14 comes to you live on Saturday, September 12 on UFC Fight Pass. The company has a great tradition of bringing exciting live events, whic read news >>

Hayder Hassan meets Vicente Luque in 'TUF 21' rematch at UFC on FOX 17

  • 3 days ago
  • 1 views

A rematch of the most important fight of Season 21 of “The Ultimate Fighter” has been booked for the UFC’s return to Florida in December. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Update: Charles Oliveira released from Saskatoon hospital with 'no major injuries'

  • 5 days ago
  • 9 views

Important note for Charles Oliveira ... or any other professional athlete for that matter: If you suffer any injuries to the thoracic cavity in training, GO SEE A DOCTOR. Immediately. And whatever yo read news >>

UFC Fight Night 74 predictions

  • 8 days ago
  • 21 views

The UFC returns to Canada, this time on a Sunday night, with an important featherweight anchoring the show. The fight card features an array of Canadian up-and-comers or recognizable vets, only some read news >>

Former champ Pat Curran meets Justin Lawrence at Bellator 145

  • 11 days ago
  • 0 views

Another important matchup has been added to Bellator's next tentpole event. Former featherweight champion Pat Curran will meet Justin Lawrence at Bellator 145: Vengeance on Nov. 6 in St. Louis, the o read news >>

Video: Tito Ortiz sides with Wanderlei Silva, insists UFC 148 loss to Forrest Griffin was 'fixed'

  • 20 days ago
  • 416 views

"Wanderlei (Silva) talking about fixed fights. I dunno, I agree with him because I kick Forrest (Griffin's) ass the third time we fought. I knocked him down three times, I took him down four times, I read news >>

Opinion: Sara McMann is as important as ever for Women's MMA despite her Nashville loss

  • 21 days ago
  • 22 views

Sara McMann may have lost her fight with Amanda Nunes at UFN in Nashville, but the divisional war still needs her if it hopes to remain coherent. Three years ago, Invicta decided to put Shayna Baszle read news >>

Tyron Woodley vs. Johny Hendricks set for UFC 192 in Houston

  • 25 days ago
  • 13 views

An important welterweight bout that was expected to take place late in the year will actually happen in early October in Houston. Johny Hendricks was hoping to get a third fight with current UFC welt read news >>

UFC 190 results: Ronda Rousey blitzes Bethe Correia, scores brutal 34-second knockout

  • 29 days ago
  • 22 views

Ronda Rousey had two important missions to complete in the main event of UFC 190 tonight (Sat., Aug. 1, 2015), which took place inside HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. And it was quick. Defend h read news >>

UFC 190 Results: What We Learned from Jessica Aguilar vs. Claudia Gadelha

  • 29 days ago
  • 12 views

UFC 190 kicked off with an important contender bout in the other women’s division, as Jessica Aguilar and Claudia Gadelha met to determine who would likely be next for a strawweight title shot. While read news >>