The Ultimate Fighters: Where are They Now?

Published Date: December 20th, 2006
Category: Sports

By Groshan Fabiola

The Ultimate Fighter has become a gem among the typical dredge of reality television. Smartly conceived, well-produced and playing completely to the large UFC fan base, The Ultimate Fighter brings it’s SpikeTV viewers an eclectic collection of cast members every season. This is ultimately what makes the show tick; the clashing of personalities is a reality show staple, but on The Ultimate Fighter the personalities get to enter the octagon and fight each other. As each season passes, a number of contestants fade from the public eye for one reason or another, sometimes never to be seen again. What has happened to your favorite Ultimate Fighter contestant? Here, we’ll profile what’s been going on with some of our favorite fighters from The Ultimate Fighter.

Stephen Bonnar

Bonnar is probably best known for his epic and universally beloved The Ultimate Fighter title fight with Forrest Griffin on The Ultimate Fighter 1; a fight he actually lost. Many regard this match as one of the best in UFC history, and rightfully so. However, since then, Bonnar has had some troubling times. He notched three consecutive victories in the Octagon after the fight, all on SpikeTV Ultimate Fight Nights. Then, on Ultimate Fight Night 5, he lost a unanimous decision to Rashad Evans. After that, Bonnar got scheduled to fight a rematch with Forrest Griffin at UFC 62 on August 26, 2006. Bonnar again lost to Griffin (in a unanimous decision), but those were the least of his worries. Shortly after that fight, Stephan Bonnar tested positive for the use of anabolic steroids, a banned substance in the UFC. He has not fought since, and his career is seemingly in jeopardy. No decision has yet been made by the powers that be on his UFC status.

Chris Leben

Brash and unflinching, Chris Leben was as dynamic a personality (and fighter) as The Ultimate Fighter has ever seen. In a controversial match early on in The Ultimate Fighter 1, Leben lost to Josh Koscheck. Leben complained to UFC president Dana White after the fight that Koscheck just “held him down” and if that was the kind of fighter White wanted in the UFC. Leben got to fight again, this time in the Ultimate Fighter semi-finals, when Nate Quarry bowed out with an injury. Leben lost again to Kenny Florian. Since The Ultimate FIghter 1, Leben has had a sterling record, going 6-1-0 in UFC competition, only losing to Anderson Silva, but beating quality fighters like Jorge Rivera, Edwin Dewees, and Jorge Santiago. Leben is a personality that the Ultimate Fighting Championship should be eager to use. He had been training at AMC Pankration in Seattle, but currently Leben is training down in Portland, Oregon.

Rashad Evans

Despite an eight inch height difference between Evans and the 6’7 Brad Imes, Rashad beat Imes in the heavyweight division finale of The Ultimate Fighter 2. Success has followed Evans since his victorious stint on The Ultimate Fighter 2, him winning all three of his UFC bouts since. His professional MMA record remains a perfect 14-0-0 and Evans is widely considered to be a title contender. It should only be a matter of time before Rashad Evans gets his shot.

Joe Stevenson

Stevenson surprised few by winning the Welterweight division of The Ultimate Fighter 2. Only 5’7, he defeated Luke Cummo in the Ultimate Fighter finale with an unanimous decision. He lost his first match after The Ultimate Fighter, to Josh Neer at Ultimate Fight Night 4. However, Stevenson easily won his next fight due to doctor stoppage versus Yves Edwards at UFC 61. Stevenson is one of the most experienced fighters to ever appear on The Ultimate Fighter; he sported a professional record of 24-6-0 prior to appearing on the reality show.

-Oscar Dahl/BuddyTV

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