UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar made his pro wrestling debut last night in New York City at House of Glory: High Intensity 6. Bonnar was originally set to face fellow former UFC fighter Matt Riddle in the main event of the show but Riddle backed out and faced Sho Tanaka instead.
Bonnar got the win and the video is on Youtube and embedded below. It’s hard to watch since the person taking the video turned their phone halfway through the match.
“The American Psycho” has not competed in MMA since 2014 when he lost a split decision to Tito Ortiz in 2014. Bonnar was a pioneer in the sport and is credited with putting the UFC on the map with his epic fight against Forrest Griffin at the TUF 1 Finale in 2005. After the battle with Griffin Bonnar’s UFC career never quite took off as he went 8-6 in 14 fights including losses to legends like Anderson Silva, Mark Coleman, Jon Jones and Rashad Evans.
Bonnar had been training as a pro wrestler for a year or so in Las Vegas with Phil Baroni and is trying to parlay his success from fighting into a new career wrestling. However, at 40 years of age he will have to make a name for himself quickly if he wants the WWE to bring him in. The WWE likes to bring in younger guys, put them through their developmental system and gradually bring them up through NXT before putting them on the main roster. The process takes several years and it’s time that Bonnar doesn’t necessarily have.
Global Force Wrestling could be an option. They aren’t exactly competition to the WWE but they are the biggest pro wrestling group in the United States and have several notable names on their roster like Scott Steiner, Moose, Alberto Del Rio and Bobby Lashley. Adding Bonnar to the promotion would be a good way to bring in some old school UFC fans to check out the product.
New Japan also might be a destination for Bonnar. The UFC Hall of Famer could work a limited number of dates in Japan and make a lot of money doing so.
Bonnar will likely work a match with Matt Riddle later this year. Riddle has been on the WWE’s radar since leaving the UFC in 2014. Since then he’s become “The King of Bros” and is one of the hottest guys on the independent wrestling circuit.
Despite his age, Bonnar always had the gift of gab and his ties to the UFC will help get him bookings. If anything it’s good to see Bonnar still competing and entertaining and proving their is life after fighting.