On Saturday evening, the UFC announced the tragic news that MMA legend Stephan Bonnar has passed away at the age of 45, after what is believed to be from heart complications. Bonnar reportedly passed away on Thursday, with the news just coming out. The official UFC statement stated,
“The UFC family is saddened by the tragic passing of UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar Thursday from presumed heart complications while at work.”
“Stephan Bonnar was one of the most important fighters to ever compete in the Octagon,” said UFC President Dana White. “His fight with Forrest Griffin changed the sport forever, and he will never be forgotten. The fans loved him, related to him and he always gave them his best. He will be missed.”
Following the news of his passing, the wrestling world has taken to social media to pay their respects to the UFC Hall of Famer. You can check out some of the reactions below:
We're deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Stephan Bonnar. We offer our deepest condolences to his friends and family at this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/ZSYLjkslPf
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) December 25, 2022
Incredibly sad news. I am fortunate to have met him. He was a kind, caring, and passionate person. RIP Stephan Bonnar. https://t.co/VCiJK4x65N
— Speedball Mike Bailey (@SpeedballBailey) December 24, 2022
I’m absolutely heartbroken at today’s news. When Stephan was preparing for his Impact debut I had the honor of being called upon to coach him.
A legendary fighter, a passionate professional, & an amazing person. I feel blessed to have had his friendship.
RIP to a HoF human being https://t.co/sKe3ofTlDC
— Scott D'Amore (@ScottDAmore) December 25, 2022
— Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) December 25, 2022
I got to meet and wrestle Stephan Bonnar and every time I saw him he was always super nice and wanted to learn more about wrestling. He was a great guy that really loved his son. My condolences
— 🤌Vinnie Massaro🤌 (@snoringelbow) December 24, 2022
Stephan Bonnar called my phone one day in 2019 and i thought it was a prank call.
He wanted his family (that's local to us) to be able to see him wrestle.
He came to Crown Point and he and @THELoganJames1 blew us all away.
RIP Stephan. Thank you for giving us that memory. pic.twitter.com/aqh2sO2DZF
— Black Label Pro (@BLabelPro) December 24, 2022
I did a few shows w/Stephan Bonnar. Such a nice/real dude.
I remember a curtain sell out for his match at @BLabelPro once. He hit a random “Street Fighter Guile” jumping spin kick out of nowhere. Biggest pop I’ve ever seen from the boys.
Oh & he saved UFC too.
RIP to a legend.
— Josh Alexander (@Walking_Weapon) December 25, 2022
Ah man I hate hearing news like this… Rest In Peace Stephan Bonnar. 🙏 I got to train with Stephan in Tampa years ago helping Dave Batista prepare for his MMA fight. Awesome camp it was! Super great guy…man…He will be missed. 🙏 R.I.P. American Psycho. pic.twitter.com/4JroUCqdWB
— Harry Smith (@DBSmithjr) December 25, 2022
We are incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of Stephan Bonnar.
Bonnar was a legend, an icon, and he truly helped to put our promotion on the map.
But more than that, he was a friend.
We love you and we’ll miss you brother. pic.twitter.com/OopenGlOJn
— Paradigm Pro Wrestling (@ParadigmProWres) December 25, 2022
I am deeply saddened to have just learned of @StephanBonnar passing away. I had the privilege to meet and train with him briefly in 2016 and spend a little time around him. A true warrior and had so much more to offer the world I feel. RIP and thank you for everything Stephan. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/TRI908HY1e
— RYBACK (@Ryback) December 25, 2022
So saddened to hear about the passing of Stephan. Amazing fighter. Sending prayer to his family and many fans this Christmas Eve. 💔🙏🏻 https://t.co/Tcui0LuVzh
— Dixie Carter (@TNADixie) December 25, 2022
Rest in peace UFC legend Stephan Bonnar. We send out our sincerest condolences to his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/rwbugC3cOE
— CauliflowerAlleyClub (@CACReunion) December 24, 2022