Stephan Bonnar changed things up tonight at UFC 139 by ditching his stand-and-bang tactics and instead showing off his ground skills as he dominated Kyle Kingsbury over three rounds.
The first round was definitely slanted in Bonnar’s favor. He was clearly eager to engage in a stand-up battle and was landing the better punches and bloodied Kingsbury’s nose after landing clean with a right hand that sent his opponent staggering backwards.
For his part Kingsbury was looking for the clinch and slowed the pace of the fight on a couple of occasions and unleashed some knees, though Bonnar returned fire with some of his own.
Bonnar then ensured the round was his by successfully taking down Kingsbury in the closing stages and looked very much in control as he got some ground and pound licks in while switching to side control and then mount before the bell sounded.
More of Bonnar’s rarely seen ground skills were on display in the second round when he managed to sieze Kingsbury’s back and took him down early.
From their Bonnar moved to side control and dominated his opponent for the entire round, though his efforts to, largely unsuccessfully, secure the crucifix position meant he didn’t land quite as much ground and pound as he could have, letting Kingsbury off the hook at times.
For his part Kingsbury looked helpless off his back and was essentially just surviving and needed a dramatic change in the third round if he was to get anything out of this fight.
That change wasn’t forthcoming however as Bonnar once again spun for Kingsbury’s back and pulled him to the mat to begin the final stanza.
The round then continued much like the previous one with Bonnar in complete control and working steadily from side control, but never appearing to be going all out to get a definitive finish.
While not his most exciting fight in the Octagon this was a solid, professional performance by Bonnar and he easily swept the judges scorecards 30-27 x2, 30-25.
With the win Bonnar extends his winning run to three fights while also snapping Kingbury’s four-fight unbeaten stretch.