The UFC 145: "Jones vs. Evans" pay-per-view taking place tonight (Sat., April 21, 2012) at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, opened with a lightweight scrap pitting Mark Bocek vs. John Alessio.
Bocek has struggled against top competition but seemingly handles lesser fighters, as he did in his last contest. Alessio, for his part, was making his return to the Octagon after nearly six years away. It took a 10-1 run to get him back, too.
True to form, Bocek was the superior fighter and he exercised his considerable skill advantage on the way to a unanimous decision victory by scores of 30-27, 29-28, 30-27. Alessio may have had the advantage when the two were standing but he failed in his takedown defense and simply couldn't hang with Bocek on the floor.
Gotta be well-rounded in this sport, y'all.
Right away, Bocek landed a hard right hand and set the tone early. Alessio was moving around quite a bit but the right hand was there. Nonetheless, Bocek worked hard for a takedown, switching from a single to a double leg. The takedown failed but he crowded Alessio against the fence and got back position.
Bocek finally got the takedown despite Alessio holding the fence and it wasn't long before Bocek was in side control and raining down elbows. Alessio got to full guard but he was eating shots from the bottom. The round ended with Bocek having taken full back control with a body triangle.
Alessio literally came running out to start the second but just stopped once he got to Bocek, like he wanted to throw something big but lost his nerve when it came time to deliver.
It's too bad, too, because once Bocek decided to take him down, there wasn't much Alessio could do to stop it. And like a replay from the opening round, he found himself on his back with a red-headed monster on top of him dealing damage.
By the time two rounds were in the books, Alessio's corner knew he was way behind. So they told him to "knock this motherf*cker out" in the final five minutes.
To his credit, Alessio came out with a vengeance, throwing some heavy shots in the hopes of catching one clean on Bocek's chin. And then he threw a leg kick and Bocek timed him and took him down.
And that was all she wrote, folks.
Remember, too, to check out MMAmania.com's live ongoing round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the UFC 145 fight card by clicking here.