BJJ training with UFC’s Dana White and Lorenzo Ferttita
In this podcast, former UFC fighter Mark Bocek recalls training his future bosses Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta in Las Vegas. Back when Bocek was a purple belt in BJJ, he was asked to participate in the mixed martial arts education of the soon-to-be Zuffa owners. The retired Canadian MMA fighter jokes he’s glad he didn’t roll too hard with them at that time… and jeopardize his future career in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
” Ten to twelve years ago, it used to be really, really hard to get a black belt in BJJ anywhere. Now, it’s kinda become like a business.” – Mark Bocek, first canadian black belt in BJJ
Mark Bocek: the first BJJ black belt in Canada
Through the interview, the Toronto, Canada native Mark Bocek tells about his martial arts journey to achieving a black belt in BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu). At 21 years old, after 10 years of training, Bocek received his black belt under Joao Roque (Nova Uniao). In 2003, that honour made the former King of the Cage fighter the very first BJJ black belt in Canada.
Also a black belt in Kempo Karate, Mark Bocek comments on the commercialization of BJJ and its effect on the actual value of its black belts. According to the 2-time Submission of the Night award winner (UFC), some black belts ignored the time and patience required to attain true technical mastery in BJJ. For business reasons – such as opening a gym as quick as possible – these money-driven practitioners have diminished the allure and prestige of the black belt in brazilian jiu-jitsu.
How to become an unpredictable ground-based MMA fighter
BJJ specialist Mark Bocek reveals, in this podcast, his MMA strategy to avoid becoming predictable in the UFC‘s Octagon. Bocek explains even though opponents might expect what your moves will be in the opening rounds of a UFC fight, a smart cage fighter will train well-rounded skills as well. The Canadian BJJ black belt suggests not considering past fight statistics, nor video, as a good MMA fighter will evolve and change from fight to fight.
UFC – Mark Bocek full fight video
UFC fighter rankings
Lightweight division (as of 10/28/15)
Champion : Rafael dos Anjos
- Anthony Pettis
- Donald Cerrone
- Khabib Nurmagomedov
- Eddie Alvarez
- Michael Johnson