Joyce Lynda Valdes: Given Igor Pokrajac’s RNC win in the first round against James Irvin, how dangerous do you think he is for you on the ground? Could he even get you to the ground? I don’t think you’ve ever been submitted…
Stephan Bonnar: I respect his ground, but I’m not too worried. I never been submitted. I am a BJJ black belt under Sergio Penha, and was brought up in Jiu Jitsu under the legendary Carlson Gracie. Also, I’ve really improved my takedown defense. The only guys to ever take me down in a fight have been Rashad, Jon Jones, and Mark Coleman….and now I’m even harder to take down.
JLV: You had an outstanding Fight of the Night victory over Krzysztof Sosynski. Is it just not a gratifying fight for you unless it’s an all out blood bath?
SB: Yes, that fight was very gratifying. He landed some big punches … I was a bloody mess, then I took him out. It feels good after a fight to be so banged up you have no choice [but] to take a vacation.
JLV: As our headquarters have been based in Las Vegas, we have been following your training throughout the last 3 years. We’ve caught you at Xtreme Couture, TapOut, Master Toddy’s, Sergio Penha’s, Floyd Mayweather’s gym and we’ve even seen you training with Sityodtong’s Mark Dellagrotte when he’s flown in…Where are you primarily training right now?
SB: I know…I’m a gym whore. For these last couple fights I’ve been with Sergio Penhas gym, One Kick Nicks gym, and PSI (Philippi Sports Institute) for strength and conditioning. I’m happy too. I love my coaches and my team. I don’t feel like anythings missing anymore.
JLV: How stacked is the UFC Light Heavyweight division currently? Is it tough trying to stay noticed? Do you keep up with all the fighters in the division or say when you got the call for Pokrajac, did you think, “Okay, which one is he, again?”
SB: Ha….no I remembered him. He fought at UFC 110 in Australia with me. And the easiest way to stay noticed in such a stacked division is to put on memorable fights.
JLV: You obviously hold legendary status with Forrest Griffin for your TUF 1 Finale battle. Can you believe it’s 12 seasons later? Did you have any idea this show would become a diehard machine?
SB: It’s funny….even during the filming of season 1, when I would hear the production staff saying things like, “This piece of shit show will never see the light of day,” and Dana and the UFC didn’t even know if we would get to fight…. In the back of my mind I just had this knowing that it would be a huge hit.
JLV: You recently tweeted that you will now refer to a “camel toe” as a “Faber chin.” How often do you find yourself referring to a camel toe?
SB: I hope you saw the “Faberkini” it was in reference to. It was a close up pic of a girl in her bikini bottoms which sported Uriah’s face. Right where his chin was on the bikini (and Uriah does have the crease on his chin) coincided with, well……her you know.
JLV: Finally, you’ve given countless interviews. What question is it that you most loathe being asked and what question have you always wanted to be asked…and why you’re asking that question…go ahead and answer it.
SB: I guess the ones I loathe are all the questions I get on just how awesome Jon Jones is, and how it felt to get my ass kicked by him.
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