Photo of Mark Bocek by Chris Young via Sportsnet.ca.
If you call them out, they will come.
It took over five years, but John Alessio is finally headed back to the Octagon, filling in for an injured Matt Wiman against Mark Bocek at the UFC 145 pay-per-view (PPV) event this Saturday night (April 21, 2012) from the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
And according to Bocek (10-4), the match-up was both "strange" and "ironic."
Alessio (34-14) is currently enjoying a three-fight winning streak including a unanimous decision victory over Ryan Healy at the Score Fighting Series just last month, but is 0-3 under the UFC banner, with past losses to Pat Miletich, Diego Sanchez and Thiago Alves.
Bocek (via Sportsnet.ca) welcomes the change in opponents, but warns "The Natural" to be "careful what you wish for."
"I heard that (he called me out) on Twitter, and I remember responding to someone saying, ‘I'm just worried about Wiman right now.' And now we're fighting, so it's a little strange and ironic I guess. (But) sometimes, be careful what you wish for. Their styles (are similar). They're both well-rounded, both have good cardio. Neither are specialists in any area. They're tough everywhere, which can actually lead to the toughest opponents ... Alessio just has more experience overall but he hasn't been in the UFC in years, let alone in the UFC lightweight division."
Bocek is 3-2 over his last five bouts, with his two losses coming to Lightweight contender Jim Miller at UFC 111 and Benson Henderson at UFC 129, respectively. Four of his last five wins have come by way of painful submission.
Anyone expect more of the same come tomorrow night in "The Big Peach?" Get up to speed on their upcoming 155-pound tilt with our in-depth preview right here.