UFC says former fighter Stephan Bonnar, who played a significant role in the UFC’s growth into the dominant promotion in mixed martial arts, has died.

The UFC Hall of Famer was 45. UFC announced in a statement that Bonnar died Thursday from “presumed heart complications while at work.”

He was a contestant in 2005 on the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” the UFC’s long-running reality competition show.

Bonnar reached the competition’s finale, where he had a bloody brawl with Forrest Griffin.

Griffin won the decision, but the viral attention gained by the bout is widely credited with exposing the little-known sport to a larger worldwide audience online and on Spike TV, which broadcast it.

Bonnar hadn’t fought in the UFC since 2014.

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