Photo by Scott Petersen via MMA Weekly
There wasn't a ton of excitement for the bout when Stephan Bonnar vs. Igor Pokrajac was announced. Bonnar entered this contest high off a win from defeating Krzysztof Soszynski at UFC 110 and snapping a losing streak. Pokrajac was coming off a win over James Irvin after losing his first two UFC bouts. Both had a lot to prove and a lot to lose, but there's no question Pokrajac was the more expendable commodity.
Pokrajac came out early charging in the first and delivering straight punches, but Bonnar was able to land a single leg takedown shortly thereafter. in a scramble, Bonnar went hip down with an over/under grip trying to take the back of Pokrajac, but failed to secure it. Bonnar was almost able to secure a guillotine choke, but Pokrajac went back down and rolled out. Bonnar then spent the better part of the round either on top in Pokrajac's guard or in transition controlling position and attempting back takes.
The second round started with both fighters jockeying for position against the fence and eventually landed on the floor with a beautiful harai-goshi from Bonnar right into side control. Bonnar attempted to secure the Hughes-Newton position, but gave up position and allowed Pokrajac to return to the feet. The two jockeyed for position against the fence and the two even slugged it out with Pokrajac landing a big punch. However, Bonnar was able to control the striking in the tight spaces and likely won the round.
It turns out that Pokrajac lost a point in that second round for landing knees to Bonnar's head even though he was on bottom.
At the start of the third, Bonnar takes Pokrajac to the ground and unloaded a barrage of ground and pound. Bonnar eventually passed to half guard and threw more punishment as Pokrajac seemed immobile on his back. Another scramble ensues with Pokrajac on top but through a clock escape Bonnar got back to his feet and secured another takedown on Pokrajac. Bonnar passes guard using an instep and referee Mazzagatti actually takes a point from Bonnar for punches to the back of the head.
The judges score this bout 29-26 for Stephan Bonnar.