“Look girls: this is what happens when you talk to strangers.”
TUF1 finalist Stephan Bonnar and UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman are reportedly set to fight at UFC 100. From Fighters Only:
UFC Hall of Fame inductee Mark Coleman has been offered a fight with Stephan Bonnar on the undercard of UFC 100, Fighters Only has learned.
A source close to Coleman says he has accepted the fight, but there is no word yet on whether Bonnar has agreed.
Unless Bonnar has some serious injury, he has no incentive to turn this fight down. This is a fight the Carlson Gracie-trained fighter would be favored to win based off of his opponent’s advanced years and predictable fighting style. This would also be the biggest win of of Bonnar’s career solely because of Coleman’s name. As for the elder combatant, he still wants to fight but he isn’t going to get matched up with the elite 205ers because they have nothing to gain from beating him. A victory over a solid fighter like Stephan Bonnar would prove that Coleman can still compete at a high level in this sport, albeit not at a championship level.
This is an interesting fight because both guys have a lot to lose. Stephan Bonnar returned from a steroid suspension and won two in a row against unheralded fighters Eric Schafer and Mike Nickels. Then, after being booked to fight the UFC’s version of Helen Keller, Matt Hamill, Bonnar sat on the bench again due to injury. Upon returning, Bonnar dropped a decision to Jon Jones, whose unorthodox striking would cause anybody headaches. While Bonnar will always have a place in the UFC simply because of his memorable fight with Forrest Griffin, a loss to Coleman would relegate him to permanent prelim status and shatter any hopes he has of becoming a contender. An impressive win would put him right back in the mix.
Coleman, on the other hand, is fighting for relevancy. In this decade, The Hammer’s losses have come to Shogun, Big Nog, Cro Cop, and Fedor (twice), who were all ranked in the top 5 at the time of their meetings with the first UFC heavyweight champion. While Stephan Bonnar is a tough opponent who is capable of hanging with anyone on a given night, he has yet to crack the Top 10. A loss for Coleman would signify that it’s time to call it quits while a victory could set him up for a big money match-up against someone like Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, or Forrest Griffin.