Mark Bocek Interview

This Ronin hailing from Toronto, has proven time and time again that he deserves to be amongst the elite grapplers in the world and is now finally getting his opportunity!When analyzing the North American ADCC Trials bracket in the 66-76KG division, I saw one of the most stacked divisions of the entire tournament. With top American fighters such as Fowler, Bill Cooper, Rob Kahn, Enrico Coco, Jack McVicker etc….The only Canadian representative in the division was Mark Bocek.

Who would have known (other than Gumby) that this sole Canadian would not only win the entire division but do it in dominating fashion not getting a single point scored on him.

I feel what is even more impressive is that he did this only 2 weeks after his MMA return in Montreal Canada’s APEX organization.

This Ronin hailing from Toronto, has proven time and time again that he deserves to be amongst the elite grapplers in the world and is now finally getting his opportunity!

BALEIA- Mark, first of all congratulations on your win on both your APEX victory 2 weeks ago and now your ADCC trials win. How hard did you train for both events as in both occasions you tore right through your competition? BOCEK-Thanks a lot, I trained extremely hard, I don’t take any event lightly and I know that when I train hard and properly I will be ready for anything. I had more prep time for the Apex fight training strictly mma for that and after that fight I just trained ADCC rules for a week and a half but I always train BJJ no matter what I’m training for so I was confident. BALEIA-With who and where did you train with for the ADCC trials? Bocek-I trained at Kombat Arts with Claude Patrick and my students, Kombat Fitness with Sam Zakula, Misha Cirkunov and Sean Pierson and the rest of the crew there. Also at Guelph wrestling club.

BALEIA- Was it hard to compete in a no-gi event immediately following your APEX victory? BOCEK-No it wasn’t because I come from a bjj background so like I said I’m always training bjj and wrestling so I knew that it wouldn’t be a problem. BALEIA- Which match was your most difficult this year? BOCEK- I would have to say Don Ortega, he is a tough wrestler who knows the submission game. BALEIA- It seems as though you have made some tremendous difference in your ADCC attempts as last time out you lost a match to Cameron Earle, and this time you didn’t even get a point scored on you? What did you do different for this years competition or what do you feel helped you do so well? BOCEK- Well, I trained a lot harder than I ever did before, I was a lot more determined due to my previous outcomes. I started lifting weights and doing plyometrics which is something I have never done before and I started eating healthy which also helped me a lot. BALEIA-Were you surprised that you did so well or did you know something that everyone else didn’t? BOCEK-I’m always confident in my abilities, I knew this was going to be a tough tournament, but I never doubted myself once. BALEIA- You defeated the “the Prowler” Mike Fowler who is made a Huge name for himself in the grappling world. Can you talk a little bit about this match? BOCEK- Mike is a very good grappler with a very good half guard. As the match started we were both just feeling each other out since the first 5 minutes points are not counted, but after the points came on I took him down, he was in a turtle position so I took his back. I took my hook and and placed it back in scoring double back points and then he scrambled out. The rest of the match I was in his guard trying to pass, he had some nice triangle set-ups but I saw them coming, then with 10 seconds left I spun around for an armbar but time ran out.

BALEIA- Do you feel that Canadian grapplers are not getting the attention that the U.S. or Brazillian grapplers are? BOCEK-I think they are starting to, as the sport grows the talent pool gets deeper, I have been competing in the U.S. and Brazil for a while but there are a lot more grapplers training in the U.S. and Brazil so the Canadians are under the radar a little but that is changing now.

BALEIA- Is there anyone you are looking forward to facing in the actual ADCC event who compete last year (for example Diego Sanchez, Jake Shields, Pablo Popovitch, Avellan, Marcelo Garcia)? BOCEK- I’m looking forward to facing all the best grapplers in the world, I cant wait.

BALEIA- Do you think if given the opportunity you will make an attempt at the open weight division of Abu Dhabi? BOCEK- You never know, but I’m more concerned about my weight class though.

BALEIA- On an internet forum, ( Kurt Pelligrino gave you some congrats but than mentioned a superfight with you as a possibility. Would you be up for that and if so how do you see that match going down? BOCEK- I would definetely be up for that and I think it would be a great match up.

BALEIA- Did any other fighter at the trials impress you or stand out? BOCEK -My teammate Misha Cirkunov won his division and fought very well, watch out for this guy. BALEIA- So where do you go from here? Are you going to now concentrate just on the ADCC world championships or are you going to continue to train/compete in MMA as well? BOCEK- I have an MMA fight coming up in King of the Cage on January 20th 2007 so I will train for that now and after that I will start training for Abu-Dhabi. BALEIA- How do you feel that you could do against the other champions at your weight class of Abu Dhabi? Marcelo Garcia, Marcio Feitosa, Renzo Gracie? BOCEK- I think I would stack up quite well against them given my grappling style.

BALEIA- Who would you like to thank for all of your recent success?

BOCEK- I would like to thank my Mom because if she never supported me when I was younger I would not be where I’am now.

Check out Marks website at: as well as his academy website at and

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Riccardo Ammendolia