UFC 145 Results: Mark Bocek Defeats John Alessio, What's Next?

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UFC 145 Results: Mark Bocek Defeats John Alessio, What's Next?
Apr 21, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Mark Bocek (top) fights John Alessio in a lightweight bout during UFC 145 at Philips Arena. Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE

Mark Bocek soundly defeated John Alessio at UFC 145, taking home a unanimous decision victory.

Bocek had some trouble dealing with Alessio's stand up, but once the fight hit the ground it was clear that Bocek was the superior grappler. He was able to frequently pass Alessio's guard, threatening with submissions, and landing consistent ground and pound.

With the win, Bocek is now 3-1 in his past four fights, with the lone loss coming to current UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson. His overall UFC record is 7-4, with his only defeats coming against high-level opponents.

So, following his UFC 145 victory, what's next for Bocek?

Well, that depends what the UFC brass thought of his performance.

If they were impressed, there's a good chance that they'll give him another shot at one of the division's higher ups. Perhaps Joe Lauzon, Sean Sherk, or Matt Wiman.

However, given that Bocek did struggle a bit to get past Alessio, the UFC might want to keep him at gatekeeper level for at least one more fight. If that's the case, we could see Bocek take on Anthony Njokuani or Terry Etim.

The fight that makes the absolute most sense, at least in this humble writer's opinion, is Mark Bocek vs. the winner of Edson Barboza vs. Evan Dunham.

The winner of that fight will be approaching the title picture, which is riddled with dangerous wrestlers like Clay Guida, Gray Maynard, Frankie Edgar, and Benseon Henderson. Bocek is a talented grappler and will be a good bench mark to see if Barboza or Dunham are ready to compete with the division's elite.

Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and stand-up comedian. Check him out on Twitter @AndrewBarr8.

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