MM-Eh! News and Notes from Canada
Speaking from a warm Albuquerque, New Mexico, Mark Bocek took time out of his busy
training schedule to discuss how things are going just a week away
from his UFC lightweight debut against Frank Edgar (Pictures), slated for July 7 in Sacramento,
The Canadian has been with Greg Jackson and his team of
professional fighters for three weeks now, and said he got the
inclination to travel there from countryman Georges St. Pierre
(Pictures), a training partner he
"I was going down to Montreal to train with GSP and he recommended
it to me," said the Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist. "Georges put in
a good word for me and I gave Greg a call and then I went
Bocek finds that the camp environment suits him very well so
"It's going really good -- it's a really good camp; there's lots of
good guys to battle with every day. They're helping me with my
whole game, even jiu-jitsu," he said, quite a proclamation from
last year's winner of the Abu Dhabi Combat Club
submission-grappling North American trials.
His daily activities in New Mexico include a wake-up time of around
9:30 a.m., then sparring with takedowns, conditioning, kickboxing,
and running in the mountains and sand dunes. Twice a day, five days
a week, Bocek trains late into the night.
Mark said that the whole group at Jackson's are great, but he has
grown especially tight with light heavyweight Rashad Evans (Pictures), who is in the middle of
preparing for his own bout against Tito Ortiz (Pictures) the same evening Bocek faces
"He's looking really ready, and he's going to take it to him,"
Bocek said of Evans' chances against Ortiz.
When MM-eh! first spoke with Bocek several months ago, he announced
that the UFC was a destination he set for himself from a young age,
but did he truly expect it to happen in his fifth pro fight?
"Yeah, I thought it was possible," he said. "I want to fight the
best guys, and to do that you have to go to the UFC. I knew it
would happen at some point, so I've always kind of been ready for
it in the back of my mind."
Bocek said his manager, Mary Oliveira, set up the whole deal for
him. "I deal with the UFC in the same fashion that I deal with all
other organizations," she said. "I got in touch with them and they
decided to have Mark fight. I think part of the success of any deal
with any MMA organization is based on the credentials of the
fighter. I just did my part as a manager."
Edgar is coming off an incredibly exciting unanimous decision
victory over Tyson
Griffin (Pictures) that some have labeled the fight
of the year, but this doesn't daunt Bocek in the least.
"He's a tough guy and a good wrestler," said the Canadian
lightweight. "But it's not a wrestling match -- it's a fight, and I
look forward to testing myself against him."
In addition, Bocek doesn't feel the need to replicate a "Fight of
the Year" contender, claiming, "I hope it's not the fight of the
year, because then it'll have to be a close fight, you know? I'm
planning to finish him."
How does he plan to finish Edgar?
"It's hard to make a prediction in a fight," Bocek said, "but I'll
find a way to win."
After Patrick Cote
(Pictures)'s successful venture
against Jason Day at TKO 29,
the rough and tumble French-Canadian has been invited to make a UFC
return when he'll meet Kendall Grove (Pictures) at UFC 74, Aug. 25 in the
Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
MM-Eh! spoke to "The Predator" in the middle of him throwing a
house-warming party to show off his new Montreal home to family and
"It's a good fight for me," said the middleweight. "Maybe Kendall
thinks it will be an easy fight for him, but everybody knows that
I'm better than my record in the UFC, and I'll be ready for
"I'm going to train like a dog for this fight," he stated
Cote feels like he has a lot to prove to the UFC. Though his last
outing in that organization was a unanimous decision victory over
Scott Smith (Scott Smith'
class='LinkSilver'>Pictures) at UFC 67, Smith was invited
back almost immediately, but Cote was told by UFC matchmaker Joe
Silva to go and win a "fair and square" victory at a smaller
Cote admits that his performance in that win was a little more
tentative than usual, but that was due to a combination of respect
for Smith's power, as well as his feeling that he had to win at any
cost. Cote, like many others, is very aware that regardless of how
many fights they have remaining in their contracts, the UFC can and
does reevaluate after every match.
"I needed this win very bad, so that's why I stayed with my game
plan and was trying to go in and out," he recalled. "The win was
the important thing for me in this fight."
Considering how the Californian knocked out Pete Sell (Pictures) with one punch when he appeared
to be down for the count, Cote also admitted that he had been wary
about a seemingly wounded Smith.
"Yeah, I was very calm in this fight, and when I rocked him in the
second round, for sure I thought about that," Cote said. "Everybody
saw what he did against Pete
Sell (Pictures). So even though I rocked him, he
still has that very heavy right hand."
Cote has continued his jiu-jitsu training with BTT Canada leader
(Pictures), but to prepare for this
fight he has expanded his efforts by heading south to spend time
with former TUF coach Mark DellaGrotte at his Boston based
Sityodtong USA Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts Academy.
Patrick said that DellaGrotte has helped him a lot, and he realizes
that getting ready for an opponent as tall as the 6-foot-6 Grove
presents a challenge.
"I respect a lot Kendall
Grove (Pictures); I think he has a lot of skill,
and he's improved himself every time he fought, but I think I will
be more angry than him. Another thing I say is that his coach
wasn't able to finish me, so I can't see him do it," said Cote,
referring of course to Tito
Ortiz (Pictures), whom he took the distance in his
first ever UFC appearance in 2004.
Cote won't be the only Canadian on this card, as fellow
French-Canadian training partner Georges St. Pierre
(Pictures) will make an appearance against
(Pictures) in his first bout since
losing the UFC welterweight championship to Matt Serra (Pictures).
Although Cote said that being on the same card as his friend is
exciting, it's not something that he's thinking about too much.
"Every fight is important for you," he said. "Fighting on the same
card as Georges is exciting, and it's good that two Canadians are
fighting on the same card. We train together sometimes, but we each
have our own job to do."
On Aug. 25 Patrick Cote
(Pictures) has one goal in mind: "With
this fight everybody will see what the real ‘Predator' can do."
Hardcore Championship Fighting CEO Keith Crawford revealed
exclusively to Sherdog.com that his organization is three weeks
away from conducting its first self-promoted event, and it will
take place in Edmonton's River Cree Resort and Casino on July
Up until now, HCF has provided MMA content to The Score television
network by showcasing fights from various Canadian events such as
APEX and Rumble in the Cage. So far, HCF's debut card looks to be
off on the right track.
The scheduled main event will pit former UFC heavyweight champion
(Pictures) against Ron Waterman (Pictures). Crawford wanted to clarify that
both camps have the contracts in hand and have agreed to terms, but
as yet haven't signed.
The co-main event will provide a terrific opportunity to
Lethbridge's Dan Chambers
(Pictures), as he'll get a chance to
test his heavy hands against veteran Joe Riggs (Pictures).
Chambers said that he's ready.
"It's a sweet fight for me," said the Canadian middleweight. "The
way I look at it is I have nothing to lose and every thing to gain.
If I go in there and beat him that will surely open a lot of doors
for myself and my teammates I would think. He is as good as they
get and I am looking forward to this."
Chambers will be joined on this card by his Canadian Martial Arts
Centre teammates Jordan
Mein and Tim Tamaki --
but maybe not by Jason Day,
who said he's likely headed to the UFC, possibly as soon as
Also fighting, said Crawford, will be Sarah Kaufman, who is signed to
a six-fight exclusive deal with HCF. She's currently undefeated
with a tally of 5-0 and is fresh off a victory over Valerie Letourneau
(Pictures) at TKO 29 in June.
Edmonton mixed martial arts fans are among the luckiest in the
country, having three major organizations putting on events there.
In addition to HCF, they also have Maximum Fighting Championships
and King of the Cage.
Finally, Crawford revealed that he plans on having a card every six
weeks, and the next one is already scheduled for Aug. 18 in
MM-Eh! attended Joe
Doerksen (Pictures)'s seminar at FitPlus in
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia this weekend. The middleweight imparted a
lot of great practical knowledge to a score of inquisitive minds,
including TJ Grant
(Pictures) and upcoming KOTC Canada
participant Ryan McKenna.
Doerksen is a terrific guy who lived up to his reputation of being
as down to earth as he is skilled. After this weekend he'll be
heading home to Winnipeg, and then almost immediately he'll drive
down to Utah in time to make the American Independence Day
celebrations with his friend and training partner Jeremy Horn (Pictures).
Look out to Sherdog.com soon for our video interview with Joe, as
he talks about his upcoming fight against Paulo Filho (Pictures) in the WEC on Aug. 5.
UCW co-promoter Krzysztof Soszynski
(Pictures) announced that the next
installment of his popular Winnipeg based event is scheduled for
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