April 30, 2011
One kick changed everything for Ben Henderson. At WEC 53 in December, the former WEC lightweight champion was two minutes away from potentially locking up a shot against UFC champ Frank Edgar. Anthony Pettis landed his "Showtime Kick" and stole the fight. As a result, Henderson became a small fish in a huge pond awaiting his debut in the UFC.
Tonight, Henderson made a statement by dominating Mark Bocek over 15 minutes to take a unanimous decision, 30-27 on all three cards, in the pay-per-view opener of UFC 129.
Bocek (9-4, 5-4 UFC) has a sterling reputation as a ground fighter, but Henderson chose to clinch with him often. Sure the fight went the ground a few times with Bocek on top, but Henderson stayed away from danger against the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.
When it was on the feet, Henderson (13-2, 1-0 UFC) was a class above Bocek. The American was very effective using a thai clinch along the cage. At times, he brutalized Bocek to the body. He also mixed in some nasty elbows and punches. An elbow towards the end of the second on the top of Bocek's head busted him open.
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