UFC 153: Stephan Bonnar Turned Down Glover Teixeira For Low Twitter Followers

Following UFC Middleweight Chris Weidman's destruction of Mark Munoz at UFC On Fuel TV 4, the post show presented an important and touching moment. In response to a question from Ariel Helwani, The Ultimate Fighter 1 veteran Stephan Bonnar announced his retirement from competitive mixed martial arts. Leading up to the July event, Bonnar had been heavily campaigning for a stint as a TUF coach against the Forrest Griffin who beat him in the finals of the inaugural season. What Bonnar wanted was a final high profile fight to end his career, lacking that big fight he chose to retire.

Then last week, when injuries struck both the main and co-main event of UFC 153, Bonnar got the call he'd been waiting for. However it wasn't the opponent he wanted (from MMA Junkie):

My manager hit me up and asked how I feel about fighting Glover Teixeira. And I said, 'You know my rule. If I'm going to do this again, he's got to have more Twitter followers than me.' I know it sounds cheesy, but it's true. That's how I feel. That's a measure of someone's popularity, and I just want a bigger name. The last three opponents, I've had more Twitter followers than them, and I've beat them, and I feel like I deserve a bigger name now. I really don't have an interest in fighting an up-and-comer type, guys who are climbing their way up and people don't really know how good they are. I've done that a lot in my career.

Fortunately for Bonnar, the UFC returned with another offer: Middleweight champion Anderson Silva. When offered the fight against arguably the greatest MMA fighter in the world, Stephan laughingly accepted what he thought was an impossible proposal. After a couple days and the fight confirmation, the reality set in and "The American Psycho" began thinking about the possibilities:

There isn't (anything bigger. He's the best guy on everyone's pound-for-pound list, he's got 15 straight UFC victories, been a champion for six years or so. It's great, though, because I feel like I have nothing to lose. Fighting Anderson in his backyard, I'm a record-setting underdog. I couldn't ask for anything more.

I was thinking about it; if I win this fight, how am I ever going to top that? It's been hard enough trying to top the (first) Forrest fight all these years. Then if I freaking beat Anderson Silva, talk about a perfect storybook ending to a career.

Then on the other side, if I beat Anderson Silva, then voila – I could probably get that coaching gig with Forrest, I could probably get a new contract and get paid a lot of money to fight. It's an interesting dilemma, but one that I'm pretty thankful to be close to having – or just have the opportunity to have.

Anderson Silva last defended his Middleweight title against his rival Chael Sonnen at UFC 148. Silva is undefeated in the UFC with 15 fights and a record setting 10 title defenses. Stephan Bonnar will be the next man to try to dethrone him at UFC 153. They'll meet in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the HSBC Arena on October 13.


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