Mark Bocek (right) says Benson Henderson can be submitted. | Sherdog.com
Former WEC lightweight champion Benson Henderson has looked impossible to submit at times.
Armbars, guillotines, rear-naked chokes -- he has escaped a little of everything. However, UFC 129 opponent Mark Bocek believes everyone can be submitted.
“Absolutely, absolutely,” Bocek said recently during a “Savage Dog Show” interview on the Sherdog Radio Network. “Maybe not with armlocks but definitely with chokes. I just don’t think people are choking him the right way. He’s a very tough guy to choke. He’s really resilient, but at the same time, I don’t think people are doing guillotines or the rear-naked chokes right.”
Bocek would know: He’s a world-class Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. He stopped short of saying he’d pass up an armbar opportunity due to Henderson’s defense, but he did say it wouldn’t be the first sub he’d attempt. Of course, Henderson has more to his game than the ability to escape finishes.
“He’s pretty tough everywhere,” Bocek said. “I’ve scouted him for a while. I think he’s pretty tough, but with that being said, I don’t think he has any area that really outshines mine. I don’t think he’s fought anyone like me before.”
Bocek has won four of his last five in the UFC, with his only loss being a debatable decision he dropped to Jim Miller. All of those wins came via submission. Bocek’s ground game may still be getting better, though, considering his recent training with jiu-jitsu ace Marcelo Garcia and the five weeks he spent preparing for this fight at American Top Team.
“I feel evolved and I feel this Henderson fight is really going to show that,” said Bocek, whose transformation began after his April 2008 loss to Mac Danzig. “After the Danzig loss, I really had to analyze a few things. I had to get a weight-training regimen going. I had to understand weight cutting and recovery from weight cutting better, which I didn’t really understand that much. Had to really, really focus on my weak areas in case fights don’t hit the ground.”
Now Bocek is better in all aspects of fighting, and he has a chance to show his progress April 30 in front of 55,000 fans at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. The Canadians will no doubt be backing Bocek, a native of the host city.
“It’s going to be crazy, but once the cage locks, it doesn’t matter where you are,” he said. “First floor, 12th floor, Canada, Africa -- it’s still the same fight, and I have to get through Ben Henderson. In my mind 55,000 will be the same as 0. Just another fight.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:35:50).