This will be a great fight!
Friday, 07 January 2011 20:36
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Imre Gams: Hi Mark, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. I first want to congratulate you on your victory over Dustin Hazelett at UFC 124 . That was a highly technical and entertaining fight, and it's easy to see how you're improving every time we see you step into the Octagon. When the Dustin Hazelett matchup was announced, what I was most interested in was to see how Dustin's Rubber Guard game would matchup against your more traditional style. In past fights, we've seen Dustin's fluid use of the Rubber Guard, and he's always looked comfortable off his back. In the actual fight however, it looked like you had little trouble in passing his guard and securing mount. Was this something you specifcally prepared for in camp?
Mark Bocek: Yeah, it was something I addressed specifically, but people have to remember that he's a great fighter and a great Jiujitsu player, but all his highlight reel submissision finishes were basically against guys where their weakest area is Jiujitsu. I train with a lot of guys who are really good at Rubber Guard, so I'm comfortable there and I know where not to make the mistakes, because with a guy like Dustin if you do make that little mistake there, he's gonna put you in that triangle or that omoplata because he does have a really good Rubber Guard.
Imre Gams: Right, because in that fight he did attempt to go for the omoplata, but you defended it really well.
Mark Bocek: Yeah, he had that good overhook and wrist control, and I could feel he had good grips there, and if I didn't do something he'd throw something up, or that omoplata would get a little deeper. I was able to stuff that one butterfly hook before he pulled his leg in front of my face so I managed to pass. But he's got a good guard, he's dangerous.
Imre Gams: My next question is whether you can confirm that things are in the works to match you up against Ben Henderson.
Mark Bocek: Not exactly in the works, more like confirmed 100%. UFC 129, main card.
Imre Gams: How do you feel about the fight? Ben's proven himself to be a well-rounded and tough guy, with great skills on the ground.
Mark Bocek: I like it. Definitely a big opportunity. Former WEC Champ. Last fight was a loss, but I think he won 10 fights in a row before that so… I've studied him a little bit, not a lot. He seems to be the WEC's version of Clay Guida. Not the best with the hands, but good wrestler, good cardio, good at avoiding the submissions, little taller than Clay. But you know, I mean I don't think he really has any one area that outshines mine. From now till then, I'm just going to do everything in my power to improve and get ready for him.