VIDEO: Celebrating the Forrest Griffin vs Stephan Bonnar Instant Classic 15 Years Ago Today
By Evan Wolff
"The Ultimate Fighter" was a series started by the UFC back in 2005, and the first season was filled with drama and fantastic fights. Yet no bout could quite match up to what Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar gave fans at the finale of the first season 15 years ago. The war between these two men is still considered one of the best fights in UFC history, and on its anniversary, the UFC uploaded the classic Light Heavyweight bout to its YouTube channel.
Both Bonnar and Griffin were swinging from the first moments of the fight, and didn't stop until the final horn ended the battle after the third round. It was an incredible display of heart, stamina, and determination to chase after the lucrative prize of a six-figure contract and entrance in to the UFC.
It was likely the greatest fight the organization had ever seen in its young history, and Forrest Griffin earned every penny of that contract with a unanimous decision. However, the coolest part of the post-fight celebrations was Bonnar also getting a UFC contract by Dana White as a reward for his exhaustive efforts.
Before this fight, many were still uncertain about the success of mixed martial arts in the United States. After this battle, however, many realized the powerful entertainment potential of the UFC, and the organization has been wildly successful ever since.