The opening fight of the pay per view portion of UFC 145 featured two lightweights looking to move up the rankings in the strong division when Mark Bocek took on John Alessio. Bocek was 10-4 in his career coming into the fight, but was just 3-2 in his UFC career, losing to Jim Miller and current UFC lightweight champion, Ben Henderson. Alessio was 34-14 in his career and at the age of 32, will be entering the UFC for the first time in six years. His first chance at competing in the Octagon, he lost to Pat Miletich, and lost his return fights to the promotion to Diego Sanchez and Thiago Alves.
Before his loss to Henderson, I thought Bocek was going to surprise the world and get the win, but he was overwhelmed. He looked impressive in his victory against Nik Lentz, but would he be able to defeat his fellow Canadian?
When the fight began, Bocek went for a takedown, but wasn't able to get finish it initially. After two minutes of working towards a takedown, Bocek finally completed the attempt and fell into side control. He began landing some unanswered shots from the top position. Bocek displayed his tremendous ground game, working towards a choke. With about 20 seconds left in the round, Bocek was working towards a Rear-Naked Choke, but the horn sounded before he could get the finish.
My Scorecard: 10-9 Bocek, but it could have been 10-8.
The second round of fight wound up right where the first round ended, with Bocek dominating on the ground. Alessio constantly worked towards the feet, but Bocek kept him down until just 90 seconds remained in the round. Once to the feet, Alessio looked comfortable and was landing some nice strikes, but Bocek shot in for a takedown and kept him contained for the final 20 seconds of the fight.
My Scorecard: 10-9 Bocek
In the third round, Alessio was looking solid on the feet, but Bocek countered a kick nicely into a takedown. He immediately took his back, but couldn't get the choke before Alessio worked the fight back to the standing position.
My Scorecard: 10-9 Bocek. It was a closer round, but Bocek gets the unanimous decision victory.
Official Decision: Mark Bocek via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Bocek looked impressive in this fight, but I would like to see him face off again with someone who actually has a ground game in his next fight.
For a look at the best fights for some of the most popular fighters in the UFC and 2011 division recaps, go here.
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Hobson Lopes has been a fan of mixed martial arts since the days of Tank Abbott and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.
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- Martial Arts
- Mark Bocek
- John Alessio