Thursday, September 24, 2009

The back and forth of Cro Cop





Once upon a time, Mirko Cro Cop brought a symphony of violence to the Pride ring. His highest point was the destruction of all who stood in front of him during the Pride Open Weight Grand Prix. This was a Cro Cop that a majority of the American fans have never seen.


What a shame that most fans never experienced the thrill of seeing Cro Cop walk to the ring and strike fear in his opponents. UFC fans almost saw it in his first fight with Eddie Sanchez but were robbed of a Cro Cop KO that had become his signature. Most hardcore fans of the time were convinced that Gabriel Gonzaga would feel the wrath of the left high kick, but that was not to be. In a cruel twist of fate, Mirko was knocked out by the same move that had given him fame and notoriety.

We all know the story from here and it has since culminated at UFC 103 where Mirko couldn't find his rhythm, couldn't pull the trigger on attacks and came out of the fight as injured mentally as he has ever been physically. The bully that used to run through the majority of Pride was no more, and even more sad, seemingly never showed up to the UFC.

Now there are rumors that he is retiring, and of course rumors that he isn't. He's been quoted recently as saying that he is done, but also that he wants to finish out his contract with the UFC. He says time will tell if we will ever see him inside the Octagon again, but it seems to me that we will not. We may, however, see him in Dream destroying pro wrestlers and winning freak show fights before the final curtain has drawn to a close. This is hardly a fitting end to a man once thought to be the only person to beat Fedor.

I will remember Cro Cop as a legend of the sport. Someone who intimidated many, won despite being almost exclusively a striker and entertained millions of fans world wide. He had a personality that won't be matched and a style that can't be duplicated. I say to Mirko, best wishes and good luck.

3 comments:

  1. He just never evolved.

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  2. ^
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    What striker needs to evolve if they work on takedown defense?

    But anyways, Good Luck Cro Cop, we will miss you...

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  3. ^ striking speed is the first thing to go as you age. takedown defense or not, you need a larger skillset, so yeah adapting/evolving is a part of longevity in the sport.

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