Ben Henderson made a successful UFC debut tonight in Toronto with a convincing win over Mark Bocek.
Henderson showed his superior stand-up skills early in the first round, mixing up his punches and kicks and throwing the more meaningful blows. The former WEC champ also looked to be stronger in the clinch too.
That left Bocek needing to get the fight towards his key strength – on the mat, and towards the end of the round he finally secured a takedown though he wasn’t able to do to much with the position before the bell sounded.
The second round featured a mix of striking and mat work with both fighters having their moments. Bocek’s best moment came with a deep guillotine attempt, but just as he had shown in the WEC, Henderson showed terrific submission defense and eventually broke free.
It was immediately following that that “Smooth” had his best moment of the round, pressing Bocek against the fence and firing some vicious knees followed up by elbows and punches that left the top of his opponents head bleeding.
On to round three and the fight continued to be fiercely competitive. Henderson looked to be the fresher fighter though and again has the best moments in the round as he gets aggressive in the clinch with flurries of strikes against the cage, while Bocek manages to land a couple of takedowns.
And so it’s up to the judges and they see it clearly for Ben Henderson, 30-27 on all three cards.
Overall this was a good showcase for Henderson, proving that he can hang in the UFC’s ultra-competitive 155lb division, while also highlighting his well-rounded skills and knack of putting on exciting fights.