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Stephan Bonnar Talks UFC 153 PED Failure

March 12, 2013 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts

Stephan Bonnar went from unsung hero to cheating coward in a matter of 24 hours. Bonnar tested positive for steroids after his his UFC 153 fight with Anderson Silva. Bonnar is now speaking out and is asking those same fans and media to give him another chance.

The story of Stephan Bonnar’s career is a fascinating one. Bonnar was highly respected for his tough style and famous Ultimate Fighter Finale fight against Forrest Griffin until his final fight. When he stepped up on short notice to fight the G.O.A.T. Anderson Silva, he was heralded as something of a hero and a people’s champion. That soon changed thanks to a positive PED test.

Bonnar’s career since then has hit rock bottom. Bonnar has become an unwelcome figure in the MMA world. Before this fight, Bonnar was looking at a secure post-fight career with the UFC as a public figure and broadcaster. Since this test, he hasn’t even spoken to his former employer. Bonnar is now asking for forgiveness.

Bonnar broke his silence recently when he appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Hour. Bonnar doesn’t want his entire career marred by one mistake. Bonnar would like to mend fences with the UFC and misses what he calls his old “home.”

“That was really important to me, to be part of the UFC in ways other than fighting,” he said. “That’s been hardest thing for me. I worked so hard over the years doing all those things to kind of give myself a home in the UFC outside of the actual fighting part of it, and I feel I ruined that.”

According to Bonnar he had no plans to ever fight again until he received the most unexpected call of his career to fight Silva on late notice at UFC 154. Bonnar said he was 35 pounds overweight but it was a lingering injured knee that precipitated the use of PED assistance and not the weight cut.

“I’m not a stupid person,” he said. “Of course, I know I’m going to get tested. I got three weeks to train for the fight, and 35 pounds to lose, and you really think after that I’m going to take something that’s detectable for a month? That makes no sense. Absolutely none.”

Here is the biggest problem I have with Stephan Bonnar. A few days before his fight with Silva Jonathon Snowden wrote a critical piece on Bonnar on BleacherReport.com. The article is no longer on the site. Snowden took issue with Bonnar’s popularity and brought up Bonnar’s positive test for bondenone after UFC 62. Bonnar in turn took to Twitter and asked fans to boycott Bleacher Report and ripped the writer apart for having the gall to judge his character.

All this as steroids were passing through his system. He may not have known that the steroids would still be in his system at fight time, but he knew exactly what he was up too when he called out this writer’s ethics and the website. To me, that is the height of hypocrisy.

That brings us back to UFC 62. This isn’t a one-time mistake by Bonnar. This is the second time in his career he got busted for a PED. What is the common denominator here? He was fighting two guys he probably knew he had no chance of beating. Griffin beat him already and he knew he had no shot against Silva. Is it coincidence that he tested positive for PEDs here and not when he was signed to fight Sam Hoger, Mike Nickles, etc?

I don’t believe anyone uses steroids by accident. He could have easily said no to the fight. I can understand why he wouldn’t but he could have. This wasn’t a situation where he was forced into a fight. Imagine the damage he would have done if he actually did beat Silva and the test came back positive for a PED? There would be no turning back at that point and everything would be up in arms.

I would also love to point out the double standard of the UFC here. They routinely welcome back fighters who test positive drugs. Not only that, rarely are they ever truly punished. Guys are generally welcomed back right at the top of the division. Now all of the sudden Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta are upset? Ironic that they would be so upset with a guy who is never going to fight again and allow others who have committed those same indiscretions without prejudice isn’t it? One is fighting for a title this weekend!

I certainly don’t want to defend Bonnar here but this is a great example of why I won’t judge anyone who doesn’t take a fight on short notice. What do you expect when you call a guy up and ask him to lose 35 pounds in a few weeks? What if he said no? Dana would have been the first to post on Twitter or tell the media that Stephan Bonnar turned down a fight. The pressure on fighters in these situations is enormous and I do empathize with the guys that feel pressured to take the fight in these instances.

Should Bonnar be forgiven for his mistake? That is not for me to decide. At the same time I think the attitude of the UFC in this situation is a joke.

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Eric Gargiulo

Eric Gargiulo is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia.

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