The bout started with Swag showing huge improvement in his takedown and cage game. Once on the mat, he played a very conservative strategy of locking down inside of Matt’s guard, and throwing some punches sporadically. Matt actually stayed fairly active in that position throwing his own strikes, attempting submissions, and trying sweeps or reversals. That pattern repeated for most of the first four rounds, with brief striking exchanges standing. In the fifth and final round, Matt rallied to take Swag down and work top position for most of the round. At times, Pillai would escape, but Matt would gain the upper hand again. In the end, Bienia’s amazing fifth round was not enough to get the decision.
Congrats to Matt on stepping up to the challenge, and an incredible performance representing Team Z!