Bonnar: The one thing that scares me is brain damage

by Ben Fowlkes | source:

"Every day you go through hell," said Stephan Bonnar of the training camp for his TUF 12 Finale bout vs Igor Pokrajac. "Pretty soon you're like, I'm so sick of this. Then you settle in and it just starts growing on you. You kind of accept that the fun's over. It's probably kind of like being locked up in jail: the first month or so it sucks and you can't wait to get out, but then you kind of get used to it and you forget how the good life is."

"I can't help it. I go in there and it's the only way I know how to fight, really. I've tried before to listen to coaches and slow it down and out-point the guy and not take many risks. I just can't do that, so I've stopped trying. I know now what I'm going to do when I go in there, and the fans love it. Maybe it's just my insecurity, but that really feels good, knowing that people like the way I fight."

"I'm not so much worried about those type of fights (vs Soszynski and Jones) taking years off my career. I guess I'm more worried about them affecting my creativity and my quick wit. That's what I care about. I want to be able to think clearly and process information. I'm pretty creative and I'm not too dumb for a fighter, you know? I'm a Purdue grad. That's the one thing that scares me, is losing that. I'm not too worried yet, though. You've seen me take the shots and I'm still there, I'm still witty. In the back of my mind, I do worry about it a little though."

"Really, what I'm banking on is all the advancements they're making in stem-cell research. In ten years, when I'm hobbling around, I'll just take myself into a stem-cell clinic and get some fetuses IV'd to me. ...Okay, so I don't know how it works, but whatever it is I'm probably going to be a candidate some day for it."

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The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale
December 4, 2010
Las Vegas, Nev.
Broadcast: Free Spike TV

Stephan Bonnar vs. Igor Pokrajac
Finalist No. 1 vs. Finalist No. 2
Kendall Grove vs. Demian Maia
Rick Story vs. Johny Hendricks
Ian Loveland vs. Tyler Toner
Will Campuzano vs. Nick Pace
Pablo Garza vs. Fredson Paixao
Rich Attonito vs. Dave Branch

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Recent Comments »

Jitsbaby site profile image  

12/2/10 10:54 AM by Jitsbaby

This!I think future mma fighters that take damage en route to victories or loses will end up more like these guys, one with a damaged head from stubbornly striking with everyone and one with a badly damaged body from stubbornly not tapping to subs and taking massive amounts of damage while going for subs on opponents.This is both in fights and in practice. Another guy that comes to mind when I think of brain/body damage is Minotauro, I love Nogueira, he's one of my favorite fighters ever but his fighting style/previous fights leave something to be desired if you want to keep your body and mind in tact after your career.I hope all the best for these legends as they deserve to live the good life after so many battles, I just hope the damage they took in their careers doesn't prevent them from living good 'normal' lives after they stop fighting.Randy and Machida are examples of smart fighters who will suffer no ill-effects from their career since they have a strategy of self-preservation in their fights. Some may find this boring, but they will at least be able to talk and play with their kids when they are in their 50s and 60s....Hell Randy is already there ha!

cluster site profile image  

12/1/10 8:07 PM by cluster

Nah, Dana said he and Forrest have jobs for life. Why do you think they put him on the WEC things while he got over his year-long layoffs and the steroid thing? Also, if you want to see the effects of massive damage check out Saku or Chuck.

WhiteWhale site profile image  

12/1/10 8:03 PM by WhiteWhale

he should be scared of brain damagegoing from being tough on national TV to shitting ur pants and needing help tying ur shoes would not be good

StretchPlum site profile image  

12/1/10 7:23 PM by StretchPlum

He thinks of this stuff because he is smart, has options, and knows this field is a short part of one's life.

xcouturefan site profile image  

12/1/10 7:15 PM by xcouturefan

Coleman ruined him

Hunter V site profile image  

12/1/10 7:13 PM by Hunter V

This. The guy has amazing heart, cardio, and great bjj (hell he is a black belt now from Sergio Penha, he EARNED that privilege). I like the fact that he is aggressive, but better to be aggressive w a plan vs being a mindless brawler. And its not about point fighting either.

joe bruce site profile image  

12/1/10 7:11 PM by joe bruce

Bonnar brings up a good point , will we see a MMA fighter end up like Mohamad Ali?

flesheatingbull site profile image  

12/1/10 7:10 PM by flesheatingbull

i've been a fan since tuf. i hope he can make good money outside of the cage.

THP site profile image  

12/1/10 5:07 PM by THP

self proclaimed wittiness!

Captfireeyes site profile image  

12/1/10 5:00 PM by Captfireeyes

Love watching Bonnar fight, hopefully he can string a few wins together.