MONTREAL – If Rafael dos Anjos is on a quest to show he’s ready to be at the next level, his Saturday message may have been duly noted by the rest of the lightweight division.
Dos Anjos had little trouble with Mark Bocek, repeatedly stuffing the Canadian’s takedown attempts – and instead taking Bocek down several times, himself.
In all, the Brazilian stuffed the home favorite 12 times and cruised to a unanimous decision victory with a sweep of the scorecards.
The lightweight bout was part of the preliminary card of Saturday’s UFC 154 event at Bell Centre in Montreal. It aired on FX following additional prelims on Facebook and a main card on pay-per-view.
A right hook from dos Anjos landed, and the two immediately tied up. After Bocek kept dos Anjos pushed along the fence for a minute, dos Anjos landed several nice knees to the midsection to earn his way out of the position. A high kick from Bocek was blocked and had him slipping to the canvas, but dos Anjos didn’t move in to capitalize. But Bocek’s repeated takedown attempts were shrugged off by dos Anjos throughout the frame.
Just 20 seconds into the second, Bocek landed a big shot below the belt. But dos Anjos didn’t need long recovery time and quickly landed a takedown of his own. On the ground, Bocek looked to isolate an arm, but dos Anjos turned it around and went for a kimura of his own. The two scrambled in the north-south position briefly before dos Anjos tried to turn for an armbar. But he couldn’t capitalize, and halfway through the frame they went back to standing – with Bocek’s face well bloodied. But with 30 seconds left in the round, dos Anjos picked Bocek up for another takedown and continued the punishment.
Bocek continued to look for a takedown in the third – but to no avail. And again, dos Anjos rather easily picked Bocek up and took him to the ground. Bocek went for it late in the fight, trying to throw a few haymakers. But there was nothing there for him.
“I watched Mark’s previous fights and he always comes with the same combination,” dos Anjos said. “I could tell he got frustrated, but I was prepared for him. This has been a good year for me. I got three wins and I’m ready to keep going and improving.”
Dos Anjos (18-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC) now has won three straight and four of his past five fights, with the lone setback being a close split-decision loss to Gleison Tibau a year ago. Bocek (11-5 MMA, 7-5 UFC) had his two-fight streak of unanimous decision wins snapped and now is 3-3 in UFC fights in his native Canada – 2-2 in Montreal and 1-1 in his home city of Toronto.
- Rafael dos Anjos def. Mark Bocek via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)