Veteran Canadian lightweight Mark Bocek, who used to school the UFC’s ownership in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, has retired from mixed martial arts fighting.
The 32-year-old from Woodbrige, Ont., made his UFC debut in June 2007 when he lost to Frankie (The Answer) Edgar.
Bocek (12-5) went to compile an 8-5 record in the UFC. He exits on a win, beating Mike De La Torre via split decision in Quebec City in April in his first fight since November 2012 due to injury.
He announced his retirement via Twitter.
“I’m retiring from pro mma. I would like to thank everyone who has helped me and supported me throughout this journey. Onto the next chapter,” he wrote.
Bocek’s career included fights against two future champions in Edgar and Benson Henderson, who won a decision over the Canadian at UFC 129.
Bocek won three of his last four UFC fights, never lost two in a row and finished with a 7-3 record on Canadian soil.
A black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and karate, Bocek started training in BJJ after seeing UFC 2 in 1994.
He became involved with UFC president Dana White and co-owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, who took up Brazilian jiu-jitsu after buying the UFC in 2001. Bocek was in Las Vegas training with their instructor John Lewis and was brought along to help out with the lessons.
“He used to come in and smack us around, submit us every 13 seconds,” White recalled in a 2008 interview with The Canadian Press.
Bocek’s modus operandi was to use his fists or a takedown to get the fight on the ground, where he would use his world-class grappling skills.
At UFC 124 in Montreal, he tied up Dustin Hazelett – a talented black belt of his own – like a pretzel.
He tripped the lanky American 15 seconds in, then countered Hazelett’s rubber guard before passing guard and improving position until he got into the mount position.
Seeing an opening, he moved up Hazelett and wrapped his legs around his head, rolling him over and locking in a triangle choke. Bocek administered a few elbows to the head for good measure and then tightened the choke until Hazelett had to tap.
Bocek won’t stop moving in retirement. He is a motorcycle devotee.