"JZ" Cavalcante and Mark Bocek fought down to the wire in our closest opening round match yet. Bocek took a split decision, one that will have people talking or years. Dennis Siver, representing Germany, also moves on.
1. Frankie Edgar vs. 5. Mark Bocek
My Take: Edgar is the perennial underdog. Will he get his respect here? Edgar has the advantage standing, but if he takes it to the ground, as he typically does several times a fight to earn points, Bocek could make him pay. Does the UFC champion earn your vote here? Does there bout four years ago at UFC 73 matter much now? Or does it go to a rising force from the great white north? I've got Edgar by a long and drawn out decision. He's too fast and too smart for Bocek to catch him in a mistake.
2. Shinya Aoki vs. 3. Dennis Siver
My Take: How severe is the Aoki backlash? Many will be swayed by Siver's impressive performance against George Sotiropoulos in Australia. But Aoki is a better pedigreed fighter than G-Sot and has traditionally made mincemeat of people like Siver.Because Aoki is the higher ranked fighter, he chooses the venue: this fight will take place in a ring and not in a cage. I think Aoki takes this one by first round submission.
- USA: Frankie Edgar
- Asia/AUS: Shinya Aoki
- Europe: Dennis Siver
Brazil: Gesias Cavalcante
- Canada: Mark Bocek
CIS and Assorted: Mairbek Taisumov
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