Benson Henderson vs. Mark Bocek: Round 1
Bocek puts a straight right on Henderson and the pair clinch, with Henderson reversing to take dominant position. The former WEC champ has double underhooks as he tries to trip Bocek to the ground. Bocek resists and eats a knee to the gut, but answers with one of his own. The lightweights jockey for position and aren’t active enough for ref Yves Lavigne, who restarts them in the center. Bocek puts another right hand on “Smooth” and they clinch again. Left elbow comes over the top from Henderson, then a right leg kick. Henderson pumps his right jab in Bocek’s face and then comes forward with a Superman punch and a hard leg kick. Another punch-kick combo from Henderson and Bocek shoots for a single leg. Henderson gets a half dozen hard punches off as he hops on one leg, but eventually succumbs to the takedown. Bocek works from Henderson’s butterfly guard with less than a minute to go. He can’t pass before the horn, while Henderson lands some elbows from the bottom.
Henderson resists a Bocek single-leg and elbows to the Canadian’s body as they clinch against the fence. Henderon with a takedown now; Bocek gets up and is tripped straight back down. Bocek looks for a leg or arm as Henderson sits atop in half-guard, punching away. Henderson’s leg slips loose as Bocek gets up and clinches. Henderson soon has underhooks, though, and goes back to punishing Bocek against the cage. Knees inside from Henderson until Bocek grabs a front headlock and drags him to his knees. Bocek has a guillotine and he’s switching to an anaconda. Bocek rolls, can’t finish, stands back up and adjusts the choke. It’s a standing guillotine now, but Bocek rolls again to try and finish. Henderson pops loose and goes wild, blasting Bocek with vicious elbows and knees to the body. When the round ends, Bocek is busted wide open with red blood staining his hairline and forehead.
Bocek is patched up and toweled down with a great gob of Vaseline on his cut. He brings Henderson down and finds himself in the American’s tight, closed guard. Henderson is keeping active with short punches from underneath and then throws his legs up for an armbar. It doesn’t come, but does allow him to sweep and pummel Bocek from the standing position. Bocek drives forward and jumps on Henderson’s back standing, but soon slips off. Henderson takes underhooks and knees Bocek inside. Bocek’s bleeding again as he elbows the ribs of Henderson, who’s looking for a double-leg. Henderson gets it and sprawls on a counter-shot while driving elbows to the head and punches under the arm. Bocek stands and takes more damage in the form of knees to the midsection and punches up top. With 40 seconds remaining, Bocek charges forward and gets a takedown. Henderson shrimps to his knee, nearly gets caught in a guillotine, but escapes. He slams Bocek with more knees against the cage just before the end of the bout.
Official scores: It’s a unanimous decision with all three judges’ scorecards reading 30-27 in favor of Ben Henderson.