The UFC announced last night that UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar passed away on December 22 at the age of 45.
Impact Wrestling, where Bonnar performed a few times years ago, issued a statement following the announcement of his passing, writing, “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.”
Bonnar made his Impact Wrestling debut in November 2017, teaming with Moose but losing to King Mo and Bobby Lashley in a match at Bound for Glory. Bonnar then faced Moose in a one-on-one match at Victory Road two years later but also ended up on the losing side. He also wrestled Moose again in a match which aired on Impact in a buildup towards Moose’s match against Ken Shamrock at Bound for Glory.
Former Impact Wrestling President Dixie Carter said she was saddened to hear about his passing, calling him an amazing fighter.
Scott D’Amore wrote that he was absolutely heartbroken with the 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,” the Impact VP wrote.
Current Impact World champion Josh Alexander also added, “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.”