In tonight's third preliminary bout from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, lightweights Nik Lentz and Mark Bocek battled over three rounds to establish their position in a stacked division full of contenders.
Bocek was able to take his opponent down for the majority of the bout to secure the decision victory. It didn't come without some close encounters with Lentz's submission off his back, but the judges favored the hometown fighter and awarded him all three rounds.
What we'll remember about this fight
Lentz entered the fight undefeated in the UFC, so fans will remember it as being his first loss in the UFC. Despite having seven fights already in the Octagon, Lentz never got the chance to fight on a main card, and this loss will only keep him from getting that opportunity once again.
If there's something we will remember from the fight, it's that when you have two very good grapplers go up against each other, it will often look something like this.
What we learned about Mark Bocek
Bocek showed good control in the fight and survived some submission attempts by his opponent, but it wasn't anything too different from what Bocek-backers were thinking going into the fight.
He's now 5-2 in his last seven with his only losses coming against Benson Henderson and Jim Miller. This victory gives him another opportunity to take on one of the upper-echelon lightweights.
What we learned about Nik Lentz
Lentz showed some slick skills on the ground, but he will have to develop his ground-game a little more to threaten his opponents from the bottom and make them be more cautious of taking the fight there.
Lentz didn't get a chance to show his stand-up, but he has always been known as a wrestler and was just too comfortable off his back.
What's next for Lentz
Lentz is still a worthy opponent for any mid-tier lightweight, and a fight versus Rafael dos Anjos or someone like Dennis Siver could be interesting at this point in his career. He still has five victories in the Octagon, and that makes him a good opponent for most lightweights.
What's next for Bocek
For a hometown fighter like Bocek, he will always have a place on the cards in Canada. A good challenge for him could come against Gleison Tibau, who's currently riding a three-fight win streak.
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