It appears Mark Bocek has a new opponent for UFC 145.
The Canadian lightweight announced Tuesday via Twitter that Matt Wiman has suffered a knee injury and will be unable to compete as expected at the April 21 event. As a result, Bocek said he will now square off with the returning John Alessio.
“Hey guys, my new opponent at UFC 145 is John Alessio,” Bocek wrote. “Wiman is out with a knee injury.”
Headlined by a long-anticipated light heavyweight title collision between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans, UFC 145 takes place at Philips Arena in Atlanta. The evening’s pay-per-view card also features a bantamweight conflict between former WEC champion Miguel Torres and rising talent Michael McDonald, as well as a 170-pound clash pitting Canadian prospect Rory MacDonald against Cage Rage veteran Che Mills.
Bocek, 30, debuted with the UFC in 2007 and has compiled a 6-4 record during his time with the Las Vegas-based promotion. Known for his excellent ground skills, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt owns seven of his 10 career victories by submission. Bocek fought twice in 2011, falling to future champion Benson Henderson before outpointing Nik Lentz to cap the year at UFC 140.
A three-time UFC veteran, Alessio has been on a tear as of late, winning 10 of his last 11 bouts. After posting seven-straight wins from May 2009 to December 2010, “The Natural” was knocked out by Siyar Bahadurzada in the United Glory welterweight tournament semifinals just over one year ago. Since that defeat, Alessio has won three in a row, notching victories over Shawn Fitzsimmons and Luiz Firmino before outpointing Ryan Healy two weeks ago at Score Fighting Series 4.