UFC’s Stephan Bonnar Steps Out of the Cage and Into the Art World
UFC fighter Stephan Bonnar is a former Chicago Gold Gloves champion and student of the legendary Carlson Gracie. That right there is reason enough to talk to him but throw in the fact that he is half of the best fight in UFC history (see the above video) and is now a budding entrepreneur as owner of an art company? We just had to talk to this guy and find out what’s up with that. His new company, NGAUGE Inc., sells high-quality martial arts-inspired paintings, featuring the likes of Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, Chuck Lidell, and more. They are almost done with their newest painting, which features another martial arts great, but you’ll have to read on to find out whom.
BroBible: Why would a bro want to buy one of these NGAUGE paintings?
Stephan Bonnar: Just look at them. The look is original. It is something I fell in love with at first sight. You won’t find anything else like it. The look is intense, fierce, archaic, hardc*re. I love when non-MMA fans appreciate the art… and they do.
BB: How did you wind up in the art business?
[inline:bon]SB: When I first saw the American Classic piece, I instantly saw a great product with potential and an opening in an unsaturated market. After seeing it, I told my main man and business partner Tom Scully, “I’m in 100%.” I’m not a shit talker, so when I say something like that, I really am in 100% ’til the end.
BB: To many, Griffin vs. Bonnar I is considered the best fight in UFC history. How influential was this
fight to you (besides being the inspiration for the American Classic piece, which started the company)?
SB: All I can say is my whole life I’ve been telling my friends and family how cool the martial arts were and that everyone should be doing them. No one listened to me. I guess that fight helped make them cool after all. Now I’m no longer a martial arts geek.
BB: So you’re not a martial arts geek but are you an art fan?
SB: I like art, but don’t consider myself an art buff. Those guys are usually too sensitive.
BB: Haha, so who does the paintings?
SB: Joe Morris is one of the founders of NGAUGE and our sole artist.
BB: Who has been your biggest supporter in this?
SB: Biggest supporter? Hmmmmm. I have a few friends that support it big time. I will say Rudy Ortiz, Steve Zimmerman, and Keith Thomas.
BB:I noticed you’re a pretty hairy guy, you’re not into the intense manscaping that inhabits the UFC ?
SB: When I was younger and gave a shit. I manscaped a little. I don’t know, I guess I outgrew the desire to care.
BB:The real reason I bring that up is because I was thinking, what if you shaved NGAUGE into your chest hair?
SB: Now that’s a good idea.
BB: I hear NGAUGE is going to do some Bruce Lee paintings; what can we expect from these?
SB: I’m not going to let the cat out of the bag, but our first Bruce Lee piece is near completion.
SB: And it’s friggin’ sick! What’s Bruce Lee’s favorite drink?
SB: WAAAAAA TAAAAAR!
BB: I’ll leave it at that.
Postscript: When asked if he plans to return to the octagon soon Bonnar simply replied, “Don’t know yet.”