The UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans PPV card kicks off with Lightweight division action. Mark Bocek (10-4; 6-4 UFC) will welcome veteran John Alessio (34-14; 0-3) back to the UFC. Neither man is currently ranked in the USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings. The PPV card begins Saturday, April 21 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
Alessio is stepping in as a replacement here for the injured Matt Wiman. Wiman vs. Bocek was an intriguing battle between two UFC Lightweight division stalwarts, both coming off wins. However, with Wiman injured, we get Alessio stepping in and presenting a very different story. The 14 year veteran of the sport will provide a different kind of challenge for the less experienced Bocek.
How do these two stack up?
Bocek: 30 years old | 5'9" | 75" reach
Alessio: 32 years old | 5'9"
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Mark Bocek has been a fixture of the UFC Lightweight division for some time. Since making his UFC debut in 2007, he's faced many of the division's elite, including Frankie Edgar, Jim Miller, and Ben Henderson. That tough schedule has led to a 6-4 UFC record, but Bocek is a very tough challenge for anyone. He's the kind of fighter who will give any opponent trouble, but he has not yet been able to get that big win or go on a real run to break free from the pack at 155 pounds.
John Alessio made his pro MMA debut back in 1998. With nearly 50 pro fights to his credit, he's done it all in MMA, competing for the UFC, Pride, WEC, Dream, and many more. He has an interesting UFC career as well. Alessio made his UFC debut way back at UFC 26, challenging Pat Miletich for the UFC Welterweight title. After losing that fight, he did not return to the Octagon until 2006 when he lost a close decision to the then undefeated Diego Sanchez in a fight where Alessio gave Sanchez a suprsising amount of trouble. He lost once more in the UFC to Thiago Alves, and has been fighting elsewhere ever since. He's currently riding a 10-1 streak that includes wins over Chris Clements and War Machine, and a loss to Siyar Bahadurzada.
Why should you care?
These are two pros, and you can expect this to be a very solid technical fight.
More UFC 145 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.