UFC Legend Stephan Bonnar’s Cause of Death Revealed by Clark County’s Coroner’s Office

Published 04/25/2023, 8:33 AM EDT

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UFC legend Stephan Bonnar passed away last year due to presumed struggles with heart problems. However, a new official report has emerged that suggests ‘The American Psycho’ died due to a drug overdose. Nevada’s Clark County coroner’s office confirmed the report to combat sports outlet ‘MMA Fighting’.

For his UFC Hall of Fame fights against Forrest Griffin in April 2005, UFC president Dana White described Bonnar as “one of the greatest fighters of all time”. ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ season 1 finalist’s death sent shockwaves across the MMA community as many fighters and fans paid tribute to the legend who died at 45 years of age.

The real reason behind the death of Stephan Bonnar


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‘MMA Fighting’ reported that the Clark County coroner’s office officially announced that ‘The American Psycho’ died due to an accidental “fentanyl, paraflurofentanyl, and mitragynine intoxication,” which resulted in an overdose. The coroner’s office did not disclose any more details on Stephan Bonnar’s death, claiming that they need to maintain medical privacy laws.

For those who don’t know, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid. It is severely more potent than other opioids like morphine, which is the cause of thousands of deaths in the US, stemming from its overdose. However, most deaths took place due to unintentional ingestion of the chemical. UFC middleweight Sean Strickland mentioned earlier that Bonnar had an opioid addiction following the UFC Hall of Famer’s death in December 2022.

UFC legend admitted to the use of opioids in 2021

Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar admitted to the legal use of opioids like oxycodone in 2021 in an interview to treat the injuries he had sustained from fighting and wrestling. He had a regimen of taking 30mg per day. Bonnar was bed-bound at that point in time and was visibly angry and irritated at the state of his health.


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A viral video he filmed of a hospital confrontation led to questions about whether he abused drugs. But Bonnar lashed out at the interviewer for asking that question. The UFC legend also mentioned that he had suffered from a staph infection that almost took his life. He felt lucky at that point in time to survive that predicament.


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UFC held a ‘Celebration of Life’ ceremony in honor of Stephan Bonnar at UFC Apex in Las Vegas this past February. The event was attended by various MMA personalities, including his famous rival, Forrest Griffin, and also Bonnar’s family. People will always remember ‘The American Psycho’ as one of the pioneers in the sport of mixed martial arts.

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Written by:

Himanga Mahanta


One take at a time

Himanga Mahanta is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. He has a passion for combat sports and a deep understanding of the intricacies of MMA. With his expertise and extensive knowledge, Himanga provides in-depth coverage of UFC events and fighters, bringing his readers closer to the action and the athletes they admire.
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Edited by:

Anuj Jacob