Forrest Griffin Talks About ‘Classy Dude’ Shogun Rua, Stephan Bonnar’s Death

The original TUF winner shared his thoughts about two of his most notable UFC rivals.

Forrest Griffin
Forrest Griffin - Image via @ forrestgriffin Instagram
  • Forrest Griffin shared his history with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
  • The original TUF winner wants everybody to respect Stephan Bonnar’s death and legacy

UFC legend Forrest Griffin looked back at some of his good memories with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. And as the other half of the iconic The Ultimate Fighter season 1 finale, Griffin also talked about his late former foe Stephan Bonnar.

No hate, only rivalry

Speaking on My Mom’s Basement with Robbie Fox’s “Spinnin Backfist” podcast, Griffin said he was happy to see his past rival Shogun call it quits at UFC 283. Having faced Shogun twice during his time in the UFC, Griffin said his connection with the Brazilian began way before they ever crossed paths in the promotion. And despite the rivalry, Griffin had no bad memories with his fellow former UFC light heavyweight champion as Rua and his team had always been pleasant to him.

“Shogun’s a classy dude. Like I’ve always liked him,” Griffin revealed. “I fought in Brazil before I was ever with the UFC and his manager is the guy that put the event on and got me the fights down there. I broke my arm in the second fight with him and [Shogun’s manager] he personally took me to the hospital and I’ll never forget that.”

Stephan died a true legend

For those who didn’t know, Griffin and Bonnar played a huge role in the history of the UFC as they starred in the original TUF Finale, an epic match that laid the groundwork for the promotion. Since then, the pair developed a great bond which is why Griffin was one of the many UFC legends who were deeply saddened by Bonnar’s untimely passing.

Reflecting on the subject, Griffin said “The American Psycho” wasn’t perfect but contrary to what many claimed, Bonnar died peacefully and everybody should treat his death and legacy with the utmost respect.

“We all do this thing because of our own mentality, we want to blame the person that’s died for something not necessarily blame them but say well they did X that’s why they died so soon well you know Stephan wasn’t, you know, he wasn’t in a bad place when he passed like he wasn’t doing anything that you and I don’t do he was going to bed early working out as much as he could you know, he’s living like a good life at the time,” Griffin said of Bonnar’s death.

He added, “His legacy and the importance he played in the UFC at that moment that that kind of tipping point. You really can’t uh you know undersell that it was it was a huge thing.”

Griffin became the UFC light heavyweight champ after beating Rampage Jackson in 2008 at UFC 86. Though he immediately lost his belt to Rashad Evans, Griffin remained one of the best light heavyweight fighters of his generation.

Throughout his stellar MMA career, Griffin fought the biggest names in the UFC, including Rua, Bonnar, Anderson Silva, Tito Ortiz, and Rich Franklin. He last fought in the UFC in 2012 after beating Ortiz in their rematch and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013. He is currently the Vice President of Athlete Development at the UFC Performance Institute.

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