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For Stephan Bonnar, Fight of the Night Is Only a Part of the Strategy

Stephan Bonnar wanted a name opponent for his return to the cage this year, but what he was offered instead was rising star Kyle Kingsbury. And although Kingsbury might be a tad lacking in star power, there was an appeal.

"I was content with [Kingsbury as an opponent] just cause of the fact he's got a couple Fight of the Night bonuses," Bonnar said with a laugh on Monday's The MMA Hour. "And that evens it out. I think our chances of getting a bonus are pretty good."

Bonnar, who meets Kingsbury this Saturday at UFC 139, says his Fight of the Night chase isn't all about the paper. Bonnar feels he has the advantage on the ground and an early brawl is part of the strategy.

"I know I say it in a way that I'm going to be stupid and reckless," he said. "But if I went out there like, 'I think I have a better submission, I'm just going to take him down and submit him,' I think it would be harder than if we slug it out first. Both of us landing some shots. I think that will help open up the submission a little better."

In his last fight, Bonnar said he should have tried to soften up Igor Pokrajac before taking the fight to the mat. Sticking to a ground-centric effort, Bonnar wasn't able to submit Pokrajac, but did enough for a unanimous decision.

It's been almost a year since that fight due to injuries and poor timing. While "time flies" as he commented, he's also been busy during the stretch with his broadcasting duties and his "Punch Buddies" tees, formerly "Trash Talkin' Kids" (name changed for legal reasons). Bonnar saw the T-shirt line as a creative outlet.

"it wasn't so much as setting myself up for later," Bonnar said. "It's about, man, I wanted to use my brain a little more than something other than a punching bag."

Last Saturday, Bonnar joined Kenny Florian and Jay Glazer in the handling of the UFC on FOX pre and post-fight show on FUEL. Bonnar has done commentary for Versus shows and has been a guest analyst on MMA Live on ESPN. As an on-air talent, the TUF 1 icon will have no trouble finding a way to stay involved in the sport once his in-ring career is over and he understands fighting isn't something he can do forever.

"I've been doing this for 10 years," the 34-year-old said. "I haven't really put an exact date. It takes toll on you. I'm not getting any younger, guys are getting better. I'd say no more than five years if that."

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