November 19, 2011
After winning a decision over Kyle Kingsbury at UFC 139, Stephan Bonnar was honest about a legal matter with a fellow fighter. After the win, he spoke with UFC commentator Joe Rogan and apologized to UFC welterweight Josh Koscheck.
"I have a little confession to make. I had this big plan to get this win, and then call out Koscheck. But you know what? Something about fighting makes you be honest with yourself. The truth is, he asked me not to make those shirts, and I did it anyway. So Koscheck, I apologize. You taught me a valuable lesson. From now on, fighters gotta approve of those shirts, and they'll get paid for every one of them."
Bonnar had a brewing feud with Koscheck. Though the two were castmates on the first season of "The Ultimate Fighter," they had recently fallen out when Bonnar's clothing company printed a parody t-shirt of Koscheck.
Based off the 1980s trading cards "Garbage Pail Kids," Bonnar's shirt depicted Koscheck as a Cabbage Patch Kid. The problem was that Bonnar didn't get permission from Koscheck to use his image. Koscheck sued, and Bonnar responded by challenging the much-smaller Koscheck to a fight.
"Words cannot describe how bad I want to kick Josh Koscheck's [expletive] right now," Bonnar said in June. "Sometimes I can't sleep at night because I'm up just thinking about all the things I want to do to him — and kick his [expletive]."
But Bonnar has put those feelings behind him. Getting permission and paying fighters for their images is the right thing to do. It's just surprising to see Koscheck, who is usually considered a "bad guy" in MMA, teach that lesson to Bonnar, a beloved fighter.
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