They are often credited for helping launch the UFC and MMA into the stratosphere so it’s only fitting that Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar will put the ultimate cherry on top of their respective careers together.
Nearly immediately after UFC President Dana White and Griffin announced his retirement from competition at the UFC 160 post-fight press conference on Saturday, White also announced that Griffin and Bonnar will both be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
The induction will take place on July 4th weekend at the UFC Fan Expo in Las Vegas that coincides with UFC 162 that is headlined by an Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman for the middleweight championship.
Griffin and Bonnar entered the UFC Octagon on April 9, 2005 at The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale in a fight that would determine the first 205-pound winner of the reality show. The fight is still talked about today and considered one of the most significant in history. The two poured themselves out for 15 minutes with Griffin emerging the winner in a close decision. While Griffin was given a UFC contract for his win, in a surprise move, White also granted a contract to Bonnar immediately inside the cage.
Griffin and Bonnar will become the tenth and eleventh members of the UFC Hall of Fame, joining Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Royce Gracie, Mark Coleman, Randy Couture, Matt Hughes, Chuck Liddell, Charles Lewis and Tito Ortiz.
While Griffin went on to claim a light heavyweight title, Bonnar never reached championship heights, which brings up the question; does Bonnar deserve a spot in the Hall of Fame on the merits of his TUF performance alone?