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Mirko Cro Cop


wandshogun09
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"Right leg hospital, left leg cemetery" - Mirko Motherfucking Cro Cop 

I was going to just post this in the Past Fights thread but balls to it. 

This is brilliant. The Fall and Rise of Mirko Cro Cop...


It's about half an hour long but it's well worth watching. Covers his runs through K-1, Pride, UFC, GLORY, DREAM, IGF, Rizin, the lot. So many ups and downs. Nice little teaser at the end for a Fedor rematch as well. What a career. Cro Cop is a fucking iron man. 

Fucking love Cro Cop. The man's lived about four lives. Croatian army, Croatian anti terror unit, politician, K-1 kickboxer, MMA legend. He should do a book.

Absolutely terrifying in his prime. When I first started watching MMA Cro Cop was at his peak. It was right around the time he had that clash of the titans with Fedor in 2005. He was like a real life smaller version of Ivan Drago to me. Just a stone cold killer who kicking everyone's head off. I was still very much a pro wrestling fan then so the fact that Mirko actually had a 'finishing move' endeared him to me and he was instantly one of my favourites.

He seems a good guy as well. One of the more underrated MMA interviews for me. He doesn't speak much but when he does it's worth a listen. He can be funny as fuck as well. One of my favourite Cro Cop moments was him stealing the show at the press conference for the Pat Barry fight in the UFC years ago. For a guy who often said he didn't enjoy being in front of the media, he was great that day joking around and cracking everyone up. 

I'm hoping he retires this year. It's been a solid 20+ years now and he's fought top of the top level fighters in kickboxing and MMA throughout that time. He's got nothing left to prove and I'd say avenging that loss to Gonzaga in the UFC, then winning that GP in Japan last year...you can't ask for a much better way to end it. Sounds like he's open to a Fedor rematch though before he hangs up the checkered shorts for good so maybe do that in Bellator or Rizin and leave it there. Hopefully. It sounds like he's ready to move on but you never know. Cro Cop's almost been a lifer in this. I'm not sure how he'll adjust to being a 'civilian' again. 

Anyway your favourite Cro Cop memories, links, quotes, videos etc in here. Show some appreciation for the Croatian Sensation. 

funny-sports-crocop-gets-caught.gif

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yep, incredible career. Mirko's one of those guys that i sort of took for granted as his career went on, but back when he was in Pride he felt like some kind of monster. You got genuine anxiety watching him fight, it was a nerve racking experience, Some of that might have been down to the fact that he was fairly unique at the time and there weren't many guys wrecking guys with headkicks on a regular basis but Mirko really did take the sprawl and brawl technique to a new level.

I think the later years and the access to Mirko as a character took the mystique away from him, but i'll always have fond memories of watching him fight, the highs and the lows.

I'll chime in with some more stuff later on...

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Two of his career highlights have to be winning the Pride Open Weight Grand Prix in 2006, and his loss to Cro Cop in 2003. The latter was a defeat, but he looked like an absolute killer that night. It was one of the greatest swings in momentum in MMA history. The loss didn't do him any harm. 

Cro Cop was never hotter than he was in late 2006 though. He was the hottest property in the sport for a while. You could even say he was one of the hottest free agents in MMA history. Message boards strongly believe that there was no one on the UFC's roster who could live with him. People were also open to him winning a rematch with Fedor, a belief that would have been strongly dismissed just a year earlier. He was the talk of the sport, right up until a picture emerged of him posing in a UFC T-Shirt, which signified his move stateside. 

The move stateside was a colossal flop. I talked about this in the "Past Discussion" thread, so I won't bother repeating myself. However, despite his career peak occurring very early on his MMA career - his later career does not define him. It's not what I will remember him for. That purple patch he had in Pride was something very special.

This isn't a commentary on how good a fighter he was - although he was a top 3 Heavyweight for a good few years -  more about how much I enjoyed watching him fight. A Cro Cop squash match against an over-matched Japanese Pro Wrestler was a product of its time, and one that could not be repeated in the UFC today - but it could send chills down your spine. Partially due to his fighting style, but also partially due to the aura that Wand and Ebb alluded to. 

Edited by jimufctna24
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That's the thing, people talk about him squashing Japanese tomato can opponents in Pride and there was some of that with all the top Pride stars of the day. It's just the way they did things over there. But Cro Cop did that shit to Igor Vovchanchyn as well, who was anything but a can. Igor was a beast in his own right and Mirko treated him the same way he treated the Japanese cannon fodder. And he did the same with Aleksander Emelianenko as well, who was a handy heavyweight back then who arguably had better boxing than his more famous brother. He certainly had faster hands than Fedor and he was a fair bit bigger. Cro Cop was a scary man back then. 

While I'm in here though. Here's Cro Cop and Bas Rutten shitting up Mauro Ranallo...

Edit - fucking hell, just watched this after not seeing it in years. That Jerry Millen is a right prick, isn't he? "Were you scared? Were you scared? You were shitting your pants!" Yeah, like you wouldn't be if fucking Cro Cop was pissed off with you. I wish they'd done it to him now. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Aye, Cro Cop didn't just feed off cans. His wins over Aleks, Igor, and Herring speak for themselves. He also had Josh Barnett firmly tucked into his back pocket. I read years ago that he was a bit of a "ringer" Unlike other K1 stalwarts, he prepared correctly for MMA competition. He learnt how to defend takedowns, and other basic ground techniques.

Millen was a right twerp. Bas laid the boot into him after Pride finished -  http://www.mmaontap.com/mma/entry/bas-rutten-exposes-gary-jerry-millen/

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Came here to post him making Mauro cack his pants.  I loved Cro Cop, he was the first fighter that made me think he was a legit killer, a cyborg.  Thanks for posting the link there, Wand, I shall enjoy watching that.

 

(Also, periodical post saying this is the only forum I go on for MMA and I love the discussion and the info and the knowledge.  You're a good bunch!)

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11 minutes ago, Keith Houchen said:

(Also, periodical post saying this is the only forum I go on for MMA and I love the discussion and the info and the knowledge.  You're a good bunch!)

Totally. The level of discussion here in the MMA section is consistently incredible. 

Edited by Undefeated Steak
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Here's a short highlight of that press conference I was on about for the Cro Cop vs Pat Barry fight. Cro Cop was on top form here. 

:laugh: 


Helwani: Yesterday I do not remember seeing that mark on your forehead. Where did that come from? 

Cro Cop: It's delicate question. I had late training in my room, so...two ladies came and they make a scratch. 

Helwani: Does it hurt? Are you OK? 

Cro Cop: No, I'm OK but they're not.

...


Barry: If I beat Cro Cop on Saturday night I'm gonna go home and stare out of a window for two years. Even though it's not a title fight, it's a title fight in my eyes, man. I can't even think past Saturday. 

Cro Cop: First of all he's an amazing guy, really decent and I like the guy. We will fight and treat it like any other fight but I met him at the hotel and he's a nice guy. Really nice guy.

And he said that, in case of winning, he will spend two years staring through the window. But he also must have one thing on his mind that in the case he loses the fight, if I'm going to be lucky and throw a high kick, he might stare through the window two years too...

(media laughing) 

...with a nurse on his left side.

I think I'm going to have to give Cro Cop vs Barry a rewatch this week. I remember it being such an entertaining fight all round from the Countdown to the press conference to the fight itself. It was one of those rare bright spots for Cro Cop in the UFC and I remember we were all saying back then that it would've been a perfect time for him to retire on that win. Mad to think he's fought another six years, avenged the loss to Gonzaga, won a K-1 tournament and won the Rizin GP tournament since then. 

Oh and I completely forgot about this. Just Cro Cop and Pat Barry cruising down the road singing 'California Dreaming'...


That's from after they fought as well. MMA's version of the old cop buddy movie these two. 

 

Edited by wandshogun09
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16 hours ago, Undefeated Steak said:

Totally. The level of discussion here in the MMA section is consistently incredible. 

Spent a bit of time reading Sherdog whilst UKFF was down. If we found some of the Sherdoggers on Mars, you'd be hard pressed to declare it as intelligent life.

The endless complaining about Conor Mcgregor not defending his titles ... or beating anyone of any value ...  or about him 'running' away from Nate did remind me a bit of the good old days with David though. Whatever happened to him!? :p

Edit: Not to mention their forum is white text on a black background ... UI design sin number 1!

Edited by Chunk
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 4/2/2017 at 1:07 PM, wandshogun09 said:

But Cro Cop did that shit to Igor Vovchanchyn as well, who was anything but a can. Igor was a beast in his own right and Mirko treated him the same way he treated the Japanese cannon fodder.

Igor is one of my favourite fighters who never gets enough love. I used to buy the World Vale Tudo Championship and Absolute Fighting Championship vids from the local Virgin Megastore just to see his fights. Despite his lengthy highlight reel of knockouts 4:04 of this video is probably my favourite Igor moment:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhHHKIxpWWM

Unlike today's wimps who need a five minute rest if a toe even grazes their cup, Igor takes a massive knee to the groin and just carries on fighting after a brief wince. 

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