An intriguing lightweight scrap between Mark Bocek and Jim Miller will kick off the pay-per-view portion of Saturday’s highly anticipated “UFC 111: St-Pierre vs. Hardy” event in Newark, New Jersey.
The 155-pounders have won the bulk of their fights via some form of submission, so don’t be shocked if this one eventually goes to the ground. Bocek’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu credentials are legitimate and should give him a slight edge on the mat.
The real question is whether Bocek’s striking has improved at the pace it needs to in order to compete for a shot at the strap. Miller is certainly no schmuck on the canvas, however he’d prefer to keep the fight standing where he holds a resounding edge.
Although only two of his wins have come via TKO, Miller has looked explosive and comfortable on his feet while Bocek’s standup game leaves a lot to be desired.
A win for either fighter would be huge for their respective title aspirations, however there’s no rush considering reigning champ BJ Penn is currently mowing down all comers like a fat kid does to a piece of cake.
Miller enters the Octagon as a significant favorite (-400) to leave the Prudential Center victorious. He owns an impressive 16-2 pro mark, finishing 10 by submission.
Speaking of BJJ, Bocek claims a respectable 8-2 record and has ended six of those victories via tapout. Although the American Top Team fighter is enjoying a three-fight winning streak, oddsmakers believe it’ll be Miller Time on March 27th as Bocek enters the biggest fight of his career a heavy underdog (+300).
Please click the media play below to listen to ESPN.com’s Franklin McNeil breaking down Jim Miller vs. Mark Bocek with 5thRound.com’s very own, Tom Ngo:
Everyday this week, we’ll analyze each of the five UFC 111 main bouts leading up to Saturday’s extravaganza. Tom and Franklin’s coverage will resume tomorrow as they preview the welterweight rematch between Jon Fitch and Thiago Alves.
Also, keep an eye out for Ngo-Stradamus’ “UFC 111: St-Pierre vs. Hardy” predictions!