Brandon Royval narrowly edged out Rogerio Bontorin on the scorecards by split decision tonight at UFC On ESPN 32.
Feints from Royval in the center of the Octagon as Bontorin looks to settle on the outside. Kick from Royval. Another kick from Royval and Bontorin knocks him off-balance to the mat off of that.
Back to his feet Royval continues to hold the center of the Octagon and lands a kick to the body. One-two for Royval. Now another low kick.
Nice hook for Royval. Now a body kick and back to the leg kick. Jumping knee and a punch behind it. Bontorin still biding his time for now.
leg kick for Bontorin and grazing punch behind it. Body kick for Royval. Exchange in close and Bontorin manages to get a takedown and lands it in the center of the Octagon.
Bontorin in side control here as Royval tries to find a way to wriggle out. Royval gets to his knees, but Bontorin scrambles to prevent him getting up. However, soon after Royval kicks him off and gets up.
Front kick to the body from Royval. Leg kick now. Another front kick to the body. overhand left lands for Bontorin. Royval thinking about a spinning attack, but Bontorin grabs hold of him and takes him down again in the center of the Octagon.
Royval landing elbows to the head as Bontorin looks to get busy from inside his guard. Royval manages to spin out and back to the feet, but Bontorin keeps clinched up against the cage as the round ends.
Inside leg kicks from Royval. Bontorin lands a left hand to put him down though off a kick attempt. Royval fishing for potential submissions here, but Bontorin steers clear of them and is able to get the back and pulls Royval down onto him.
They scramble and Bontorin is back in half-guard now. Royval gets him into his guard. He starts working for an omaplata. Bontorin gets out of that quickly and drives back into his guard.
Royval gets to his knees and then up against the cage with Bontorin still clinched up. Now they break free. They both trade punches. Royal staggers to the mat after his leg seems to buckle.
Royval straight back up and takes a deep breath. Bontorin able to bring him to the mat again. Royval stands, but gets dragged back down for a moment, then up again. Rinse and repeat and then they get back to striking range.
Royval immediately getting busy with strikes again. Bontorin lands a punch and Royval is off-balance for a moment. Another blow for Bontorin and then gets a final takedown to end the round.
Calf kick for Royval. Now a punch upstairs. He steps into a knee too. Another punch and knee to the body.
Bontorin lands a nice left hand now. Body kicks from Royval. He tries for another kick and Bontorin catches it and sends him to the mat.
Royval able to get back up quickly though. He tries to strike, but Bontorin clinches up. Royval shakes him off. Knee from Royval, but Bontorin dumps him to the mat in the center of the Octagon.
Royval getting his legs up fishing for a submission. He tries for an armbar and Bontorin looks to be in trouble for a moment, but then gets out of it. Did he tap during that sequence? Hard to tell in the heat of the battle.
The action continues. Bontorin looking to maintain top control, but it’s Royval who manages to scramble on top.
Half-guard for Royval in the center of the Octagon. Royval staying tight to Bontorin here. He grinds his elbow into Bontorin’s face, then finds space to land some ground and pound blows.
Final 20 seconds and Royval nicely lands repeated elbow strikes as he looks to grab the judges attention ahead of a decision verdict.
Very competitive action here then, with Royval being far busier on the feet, but Bontorin making his punches count when he did throw them, while also getting the better of the grappling exchanges in the first two rounds, though Royval rebounded on that front late in the third round.
So it’s a tough one for the judges to call, and that’s reflected in a split decision verdict, and it’s Royval who gets the win (29-28 x2, 28-29).