The UFC has a proud history stretching back twenty years. Throughout the course of developing EA SPORTS UFC, we will look back at some of the greatest moments that have shaped the organization. in UFC history.Be sure to check out last week’s Flashback Friday and stay tuned for weekly highlights of the most memorable fights in the UFC.
Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar: The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale.
It’s impossible to separate the UFC and its current success from the fifteen electrifying minutes Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar spent at war with each other on April 9, 2005. Their battle highlighted The Ultimate Fighter Season One finale and marked the first time a modern-era UFC event was aired on cable television, not PPV.
After watching a season of the show, fans felt like they knew both Griffin and Bonnar on a personal level. The fight was all action for three straight rounds and it instantly converted millions of people into fight fans. Griffin vs. Bonnar transcended sports and is remembered as one of the most powerful moments in the history of reality TV.
The Ultimate Fighter gave contestants the opportunity to earn a six-figure contract with the UFC. Both Griffin and Bonnar stepped into the Octagon with plenty of motivation and weeks of training behind them, thanks the tutelage of legendary fighters Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture on the first season of TUF.
The fight hit its stride only seconds into the first round, with both men connecting hard and often. Neither fighter stopped moving forward. After two minutes of the first round, ringside commentator Joe Rogan was clearly showing his excitement, proclaiming the fight as an all-out war.
Griffin got the better of the stand-up exchanges in the first round, but appeared to gas early in the second, opening the door for Bonnar to cut him with a stiff jab to the nose. Doctors were quickly brought in to inspect the wound and seconds later a grinning, still-bloody Griffin was cleared to fight on. The pace never seemed to slow as both fighters continued to dish out and absorb incredible amounts of punishment.
Finding enough of a second wind to come out swinging again in the third, Griffin now seemed to have regained the edge as the two went toe-to-toe in a final-round slugfest that brought the crowd to their feet.
The fight ended with both men fully spent and Griffin ultimately being crowned as the inaugural champion of The Ultimate Fighter, earning that coveted UFC contract. Crushed by the loss, Bonnar fell to his knees.
But that disappointment was short lived. In a surprise move, UFC President Dana White announced that both warriors had earned identical contracts with their gusty performance.
The fight is still regarded as one of the most entertaining to ever take place in the UFC, and helped gain the company the mainstream exposure it had been searching for in the years prior. As Griffin said in an interview leading up to the finale, “A good fight really is a thing of beauty. To be involved in that is great.”
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