Rafael dos Anjos and Mark Bocek each came into UFC 154: St-Pierre at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Saturday night looking to add to back-to-back victories, trying to find a path towards a title shot.
Their desire showed from the start, both fighters coming out very aggressive, mixing it up on the feet, both finding a home for their knees in particular. Bocek, known for his superior takedowns, had a difficult time hitting them in round one, dos Anjos defending well and, overall, looking much stronger than Bocek.
They came out just aggressive in round two, but Bocek landed a low kick to the groin early in the opening moments, causing a brief stoppage in the action. Surprisingly, dos Anjos scored a takedown upon the restart, keeping him on the mat for a couple minutes, bloodying his face.
Bocek regained his feet, but each time he did dos Anjos put him back on the mat, grounding and pounding him.
A cut on the bridge of his nose and below both eyes, Bocek came out aggressive in the final stanza, but still couldn’t score the takedown. Instead, it was dos Anjos that delivered a harsh knee to the body and then elevated and slammed Bocek to the mat once again.
Bocek quickly regained his feet, never giving up, constantly pressing forward, trying to find some way, any way, to get dos Anjos on the ground, but the Brazilian would have none of it, fending off anything Bocek threw at him.
The decision was unanimously in dos Anjos’ favor, upping his streak to three straight, while Bocek goes back to the drawing board, losing for the first time since current UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson defeated him at UFC 129 in early 2011.
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