UFC Lightweight Veteran Mark Bocek Retires from MMA Competition

Sean SmithAnalyst IAugust 6, 2014

Frank Edgar (right) and Mark Bocek exchange punches at Ultimate Fighting Championship 73 on Saturday, July 7, 2007, in Sacramento, Calif.  Edgar won via 1st round TKO by strikes. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Mark Bocek has won three of his past four fights, but the Canadian made a somewhat surprising announcement via Twitter on Tuesday that he has retired from MMA competition.

I'm retiring from pro mma.I would like to thank everyone who has helped me and supported me throughout this journey. Onto the next chapter.

— Mark Bocek (@MarkBocek) August 6, 2014

In April, Bocek rebounded from a loss to Rafael dos Anjos by edging UFC newcomer Mike De La Torre on the scorecards. Prior to his loss to dos Anjos, Bocek also scored decision victories over Nik Lentz and John Alessio. Despite his recent successes, Bocek decided to call it quits.

While he was still winning, Bocek did not appear to be progressing at 32 years old. A split-decision win over De La Torre indicated a sharp decline from a more definitive win over now-No. 8 featherweight contender Lentz two years earlier. With title hopes seemingly dissipating, Bocek may simply not have been interested in fulfilling a role as a gatekeeper in the 155-pound class.

Additionally, injuries may have factored into Bocek's decision to hang his gloves up. Following his loss to Dos Anjos, Bocek had a bout with Michel Prazeres cancelled, resulting in 17 months away from the Octagon until he returned against De La Torre at UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Kennedy.

Interestingly, Bocek's declaration that he is done with MMA came only one day following this:

How many of you actually believe that fighters enjoy fighting??? I'm just curious, thinking out loud...

— Mark Bocek (@MarkBocek) August 4, 2014

The Canadian lightweight is far from the first fighter to suggest fighting isn't his favorite thing in the world. Even a scrappy Nick Diaz has had reservations about fighting. Here's hoping Bocek finds something he's more passionate about now that his MMA career has come to an end.

Bocek doesn't have a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame waiting for him. However, having spent seven years with the world's top MMA organization, Bocek has had a very respectable career. The Tristar Gym member fought former UFC champions Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson, and he looked like he belonged inside the Octagon with some of the best in the world.