Former MMA fighter Stephan Bonnar is set to headline a pro wrestling show, becoming the 10th UFC hall of Famer to enter the industry.
As reported by MMA Fighting, the 40-year-old veteran will take on Matt Riddle at House of Glory’s ‘High Intensity 6’ which will take place on August 18th in New York. Bonnar has been training to enter the world of professional wrestling alongside former UFC fighter Phil Baroni, but this will be his first major venture into sports entertainment as a singles star.
Bonnar, who conducted an interview regarding his career change with CLICKON Sports, has always been a showman of sorts and is partly responsible for the mixed martial arts boom of the noughties courtesy of his legendary fight alongside Forrest Griffin.
In recent years the cross overs between MMA and pro wrestling (mainly WWE) have been coming thick and fast, with the likes of Shayna Baszler recently competing in the May Young Classic.
In terms of Bonnar’s opponent, Matt Riddle is a former UFC fighter who has quickly established himself as one of the hottest young talents on the independent circuit. Riddle was actually riding a win streak upon being released, as his documented troubles with Dana White soon caught up with him in addition to his misdemeanours.
Bonnar himself is so stranger to landing in hot water due to his actions, with his short fight against Anderson Silva being tarnished by the fact that he tested positive for drostanolone.
With a 15-9 professional record it’s not all too surprising to see Bonnar transition into the world of wrestling, but his age shouldn’t necessarily be an indication of failure. After all the likes of Diamond Dallas Page have made the same move at such a late stage, and Stephan has the right kind of background when it comes to carving out a personality for himself.
His ties to former pro wrestler Batista also won’t help his cause, and there will likely be many superstars across the globe who would jump at the chance to get inside the squared circle and teach Bonnar a think or two about the business.
That being said we won’t get too far ahead of ourselves, with our main focus switching to the Bonnar vs Riddle match that is destined to be a slobberknocker. Will The American Psycho pull a win out of the bag in what is his first major test in this industry? Only time will tell.