Mixing together a strong striking attack in the first two rounds with a powerful ground game in the third led Bontorin to a unanimous decision win over Matt Schnell on the main card. The scorecards read 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 with Bontorin getting the win by unanimous decision.
“I had made the plan to take him down to keep the advantage there,” Bontorin said about his performance in the third round. “[The late notice] affected me a lot, so much so that I couldn’t make weight. I’d really like to apologize to Matt for that.”
As the action got started, Schnell was the faster fighter but Bontorin was more powerful and he proved that with several stinging punches in the opening round. While both athletes were able to land on target at times, Bontorin was connecting with much more force while also mixing in some hard kicks that were doing damage to Schnell’s lead leg.
With Bontorin loading up on his punches, Schnell attempted to answer with three and four strike combinations to even the score. Still, Bontorin made dramatic effect with the punches he landed with Schnell’s head snapping back in a violent motion.
As the second round was coming to a close, Bontorin unleashed a flurry of punches that rattled Schnell momentarily but he was cautious not to overextend himself and catch a counter shot in return.
Despite Bontorin’s best attempts to really hurt Schnell, the former Ultimate Fighter competitor refused to go away. It wasn’t until the third round when Bontorin finally opened up with a huge barrage of punches and a jumping knee against the cage that had Schnell truly hurt.
Bontorin then transitioned to a takedown as he began hammering away with punches on the ground with Schnell desperately trying to scramble his way back to the feet. Schnell never got back up again until the horn sounded as Bontorin celebrated his handiwork to return to the win column after suffering back-to-back losses in his two previous appearances in the octagon.