The Ultimate Fighter season one contestant Stephan Bonnar made it two in a row last Saturday night when he defeated Igor Pokrajac on the main card of The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale by unanimous decision. Bonnar raised a few eyebrows in the fight, as he abandoned his usual reckless brawling style in favor of technical ground work and dominant control on the mat. Speaking with MMAJunkie.com after the bout, Bonnar explained his revamped approach.
“It was just the right time to do it,” Bonnar said. “Everyone expected me to be the same old toe-to-toe Bonnar, including Igor. Even in his interviews, he was looking forward to a toe-to-toe brawl. That was the perfect time to pull a little fast one, a little tomfoolery on everyone.”
Bonnar explained that he hopes the performance will keep other light heavyweights on their toes now that they can’t expect one thing or the other from him.
Bonnar’s bout with Pokrajac had a few moments of controversy, as both men were docked points for different illegal strikes–Bonnar’s point deduction coming from strikes to the back of the head and Pokrajac’s for knees to the head while on the ground. Bonnar told MMAJunkie that he is not upset at referee Steve Mazzagatti for taking the points, but that he was a little annoyed at having to signal for him to acknowledge the illegal knees.
“I had to tell him,” he said. “[Pokrajac] hit me with like three or four of them. Finally, I was like, ‘Steve, that’s four.’ I didn’t even care, really, because I didn’t want to lose my position. I felt myself bleeding, and then I said something. I was like, ‘Come on, Steve. I’m bleeding because those were illegal.’ Then I made sure and tell him I was alright, though, because I didn’t want him standing us up because I had sidemount on him. It sucks when you have to ref your own fight.”
Regardless of that slight controversy, Bonnar said that he is happy with his victory and is now looking forward to celebrating the holidays without a face full of stitches and covered in bruises.
“I went out there and showed that I can take people out, and I’m not so one-dimensional,” Bonnar said. “I got another good win, and I don’t have to spend the night in the hospital. I don’t look like Frankenstein. Now Christmas is coming up, and I can get fat.”