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TUF 12 Finale Live Blog: Stephan Bonnar vs. Igor Pokrajac Updates

LAS VEGAS – This is "The Ultimate Fighter" Finale live blog for Igor Pokrajac vs. Stephan Bonnar, the co-main event of tonight's card at The Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas.

Pokrajac (22-7, 1-2 UFC), one of the main training partners of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic in Croatia, is coming off a submission win over James Irvin in August, which snapped a two-fight losing skid to open his UFC career. Bonnar (12-7, 6-6 UFC), runner-up to Forrest Griffin for the Season 1 light heavyweight title, snapped a three-fight skid in July with a TKO win over Krzysztof Soszynski at UFC 116.

The live blog is below.

Round 1: Crowd clearly on the side of Bonnar. They touch gloves, and Pokrajac comes out swinging hard. Bonnar clinches with him along the fence and Pokrajac eats a few shots to the body and some knees in the process. Bonnar scores a trip takedown and is quickly on top. They go to north-south for a quick moment, and then Pokrajac powers back up. The crowd gets a loud "Bonnar!" chant started, and then they separate. Bonnar eats a few Pokrajac punches and then looks to throw knees as his corner implores him to get off the fence. Bonnar does so and he has Pokrajac tied up in a guillotine choke. But Pokrajac gets out and survives the scare. Bonnar postures up and looks to drop hands from up top. He can't land much significant, but he keeps control up top and passes to side control. Bonnar lands some rough elbows to Pokrajac's ribcage, then looks to transition to his back. He lands some good strikes from the top, where he's controlling things. They get back to standing to end the round, and Bonnar misses with a high kick. It's a 10-9 round for Bonnar, the TUF 1 runner-up, on the MMA Fighting card.

Round 2: Bonnar comes forward quickly, then backs out. He throws a left jab. Pokrajac hits a few strikes in close and they tie up again with Bonnar looking for knees. Bonnar gets a Thai clinch in and looks to pull Pokrajac's head down for knees. They trade position on the fence. Bonnar gets one hook in, then they spill to the canvas with Bonnar winding up on top in side control. Bonnar works elbows from the top, then looks for Pokrajac's arm. Pokrajac throws a knee that had it hit Bonnar in the head would've been illegal since they're both on the ground. But Bonnar shrugs it off and looks to take Pokrajac's back. Pokrajac gets back to standing, then throws some heavy hands. But Bonnar Thai clinches again and lands knees. Pokrajac, though, looks for a Thai plum of his own, though his knee effort doesn't land. Then break and trade wildly with Bonnar eating some big punches. He responds with a clinch and gets to the fence with Pokrajac's back against it. He looks toward the big screen for the time, then lands an elbow in tight. He wins the second on the MMA Fighting card 10-9.

Round 3: UPDATE: Mazzagatti announces he took a point away from Pokrajac for the knee on the ground that we referenced in the Round 2 update – though oddly he didn't say anything during the fight or stop the fight at all. Bonnar stars the third by eating a few more shots that draw Pokrajac in close, and then takes him down and looks to ground and pound. It's more of the same from Bonnar, controlling things from top position and working elbows. He goes to his feet and drops a hard punch down. Then he nearly passes to full mount, only a Pokrajac knee between the dominant position. He rains body punches and strikes to the head, then passes to side control. Bonnar briefly has Pokrajac's back, but Pokrajac reverses it for a moment before Bonnar gets out of trouble. Bonnar works continued body blows as the crowd chants his name again. Bonnar looks for an arm triangle from the top, but as the fight draws to a close and Bonnar is working hammer fists to Pokrajac, Mazzagatti gets in the middle with about three seconds left and pulls Bonnar off, saying the punches were illegal to the back of Pokrajac's head. He takes a point away. That makes the third round 9-9 for Bonnar on the MMA Fighting card, and with Round 2 being a delayed 10-8 for Bonnar, we score the fight 29-26 for Bonnar.

Result: Stephan Bonnar def. Igor Pokrajac via unanimous decision (29-26, 29-26, 29-26).fanhouseButton {margin:2em 0;} .fanhouseButton a:link, .fanhouseButton a:visited, .fanhouseButton a:hover, .fanhouseButton a:active {background-color:#dd2829;color:#FFFFFF;font-size:18px;padding:0.3em 0.6em;text-decoration:none;} .fanhouseButton a:hover {background-color:#000000;}

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