by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
After the classic match that they had on the live season finale of The Ultimate Fighter 1, it was only a matter of time before Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar stepped back into the Octagon to face off once again. Now the two light heavyweights are scheduled to face each other on the UFC 62 card on August 26th.
Both fighters are coming off of decision losses, with Griffin losing to Tito Ortiz and Bonnar losing to Rashad Evans. Given the circumstances, this seems like the perfect time for a return bout, and given the fact that the rematch will be featured on the same card as a Chuck Liddell title defense, neither fighter will be faced with quite as much pressure to have another Fight of the Year candidate. Instead, they will be able to place more of a focus on simply winning.
There is no doubt that there will still be a lot of pressure of Griffin and Bonnar to have another spectacular fight, but at the same time, both fighters have to know that a loss would be devastating to their chances of climbing up the UFC’s 205-pound ladder.
With the return of Tito Ortiz, current number one contender Renato “Babalu” Sobral, and of course, the announcement of current Pride Champion Wanderlei Silva having what UFC president Dana White described as “probably” a three-fight deal to fight in the UFC, Griffin and Bonnar will have to be very careful not to get mired in the mix of fighters who are struggling to stay near the top of the pile in the light heavyweight division.
Luckily, both fighters have the popularity that they gained from being on the highly popular Ultimate Fighter reality show, but anyone who loses two fights in a row isn’t going to be high on the list of possible main event fighters. Stephan Bonnar has to be especially careful after a very uninspired performance at Ultimate Fight Night 5 in which he was thoroughly dominated by TUF 2 winner Rashad Evans.
As of now, only Liddell vs. Sobral and Griffin vs. Bonnar have officially been announced by the UFC for the August 26th show, but David Terrell vs. Yushin Okami is another fight that is expected to be on the card, as is Sean Sherk versus a fighter to be announced in a fight for the currently vacant UFC Lightweight Title.