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‘I’m trying to go by the book’ - Stephan Bonnar refutes suggestion of opioid addiction

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Bonnar recently released footage of an incident between himself and staff at a hospital in Las Vegas hospital after which he was briefly detained by police. Now he’s clearing the air about his recent struggles due to injury.

Stephan Bonnar looks on from the crowd during UFC 167.
Stephan Bonnar looks on from the crowd during UFC 167.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Stephan Bonnar’s time outside the UFC has had some notable ups and downs. Inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame alongside Forrest Griffin, back in 2013, Bonnar last competed in MMA at Bellator 131, losing a split decision to Tito Ortiz. In the years since he’s carved out a career of regional pro-wrestling, as well as a spot as president of North Star Combat, a small MMA promotion based out of Minnesota.

He’s also had a couple run-ins with the law, including a 2018 DUI. But, the latest of those incidents is one the ‘American Psycho’ brought to light all on his own, with a series of posts he uploaded to his Instagram account, including a video recorded inside a Las Vegas hospital.

“I’m at Henderson Hospital, and the doctor won’t talk to me,” Bonnar could be heard saying as he attempted to record hospital staff.

“I’m at Henderson Hospital and they’re going to arrest me and they won’t treat me, because I get prescribed Oxycodone 10mg, and I got it filled a few weeks ago.”

Bonnar went on to explain that he broke his vertebrae in a recent pro wrestling match. However, the video of the fighter – wild eyed and ranting – followed by a recording of him being detained by local police, sparked a wave of concern from fans and friends. But, in a recent interview with MMA Fighting, the former longtime UFC talent and Ultimate Fighter star made it clear that he’s not suffering from addiction. Rather, he’s simply unable to get help managing the pain he’s experiencing.

“Are you f-cking kidding me? Let me f-cking fracture your lumbar vertebrae and see how you feel two weeks later, and also break your wrist, and also f-ck your shoulder up and you’re crutching around on it,” Bonnar responded when asked if he was struggling with opioid addiction. “Like, c’mon man. Really, I’m being honest here. ‘Do you have a problem?’ F-ck you. That’s what I’m talking about.”

“Instead of trying to hide from the [emergency room doctor] that I’m taking anything, or score an illegal opiate, I’m trying to go by the book and do everything legal,” Bonnar added. “You don’t think – it’s Vegas, man – if I wanted some heroin, I could score some? Dude, I’m trying not to do that. I’m trying to go by the book, and I’m striking out, and no one’s been helping.”

The 44-year-old former fighter went on to add that while he’s received plenty of concern from his friends and colleagues, it’s not been the kind of help he needs. “If you think you’re my friend and you think sitting there worried about me, because you think I have a drug problem, is going to fix it? F-ck off.”

“People abuse opiates, so [people] automatically assume anyone in there is faking the pain and milking it for sympathy so they can get some,” Bonnar explained. “Well, that’s not me. I don’t know if you’ve seen me fight all those years? Have I ever look like a pussy, faking stuff? I don’t think so.”

He also added that the UFC knows about his condition and “could easily help” him if they wanted to. However it also seems Bonnar told MMA Fighting that he’s been blacklisted by the promotion due to his failed drug test from his final fight in the Octagon, against Anderson Silva, alongside his decision to sign with Bellator in the years following.