Stephan Bonnar would have preferred his next fight to be close to home, but it wasn't meant to be.
The Munster native and Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran, one of the most popular fighters in the promotion's history, was scheduled to fight on the UFC's show in Milwaukee earlier this month. But a Grade II tear of his MCL forced him out and put him on the sidelines in recovery mode.
Now, after six weeks in a knee brace, Bonnar has his next fight booked. He will meet Kyle Kingsbury on Nov. 19 at UFC 139 in San Jose, Calif.
Bonnar (13-7, 7-6 UFC), a Munster High School and Purdue product who now lives and trains in Las Vegas, told The Times in June that when he hurt his knee, he was immediately worried he would be out a long time. He went 15 months between fights thanks to a knee injury in 2008.
"I was worried it would be as serious as the big knee injury of '08," Bonnar said. "But thankfully, it's not -- six weeks to start training and no surgery as opposed to six months to start training with surgery (last time)."
Bonnar will be looking to extend his winning streak to three fights against Kingsbury after stopping a three-fight skid last year. After consecutive losses to current champion Jon Jones, Hall of Famer Mark Coleman and Krzysztof Soszynski, Bonnar rebounded with a rematch TKO win against Soszynski last July and a decision win over Igor Pokrajac in December.
Kingsbury (11-2, 1 NC, 4-1 UFC), who like Bonnar got his start on "The Ultimate Fighter," has won four-straight in the promotion -- two of which were awarded Fight of the Night bonuses.
The fight will be on Kingsbury's home turf; he lives and trains in San Jose. The native Californian wrestled and played football in high school in nearby Cupertino and was a walk-on for Arizona State's football team in college, where he saw action in the 2004 Sun Bowl against Purdue.
Though the UFC has not officially announced UFC 139, the pay-per-view is expected to take place at the HP Pavilion, home of the NHL's San Jose Sharks. Bonnar's fight with Kingsbury is likely to take place on the main card.