White defends Bonnar’s inclusion in Hall of Fame

Monday, July 01, 2013

Last month the UFC announced that Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar would be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame at this weekend’s UFC Fan Expo. Forrest Griffin, by most accounts, seemed a no-brainer, but some fans and media questioned Bonnar’s inclusion. Today at a press event for UFC 163, Dana White defended his decision:

“I was going to kick him off the show. I was going to kick him off – and I didn’t. Imagine if I had kicked Stephan Bonnar off the show that day, and him and Forrest never happened. I don’t think people realize, really, really realize, what that one fight meant to this sport and this company. I look at it as, I’m inducting Forrest, and Stephan goes with him. It wasn’t just Forrest. Both of those guys took us to this next level. He’s being inducted for that one fight that took this thing to the next level.”

Guys don’t get inducted into other Halls of Fame based upon one good night. 

But Dana White never operated by anyone else’s rules. And without him, MMA likely wouldn’t exist today, let alone the UFC. 

So, in the strict standard, Bonnar doesn’t belong in. He’s a drug cheat and he has zero significant wins.

But it was his ability on that one given night that helped save the sport. And while everyone else is willing to look past that one night, White is not. 

“Nobody knows more than me how much that fight meant,” White said. “For us, that fight meant everything, and I never forget it.”

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