Sunday, September 20, 2009

What next? A tale of 2 fighters, Cro Cop and Rich Franklin

Cro Cop
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Two fighters with similar outcomes, but wildly different futures left the octagon last night. Mirko Cro Cop found himself with an obvious injury to his eye and no longer relevant in the heavyweight division. Rich just found himself picking the wrong opponent for his fighting style. Both lose in undeniable fashions, but each will be going in completely different directions from here on out.

Starting with Cro Cop, last night really exposed what Cro Cop's main weapon is: intimidation. If he doesn't intimidate his opponent, then it seems very unlikely that he will win or have even mild success against his opponent. Take last night for example. Cro Cop seemed very tentative and very hesitant to even throw a kick or put together any type of meaningful attack. Dos Santos was never afraid, was never intimidated and didn't back down from the challenge. It appears that the majority of Cro Cop's wins may in fact have been because he would walk his opponent down and choose when to attack rather than having his opponent dictate the pace. If you can bully Cro Cop, you can beat Cro Cop.

Mirko has a choice to make. Does he stay in the UFC and fight other lower tier heavyweights such as Justin McCully or go to Japan and dominate until he retires by beating pro wrestlers? One thing is for certain, his future does not contain a run at the heavyweight division.

Rich, on the other hand, usually follows up losses with strings of wins. The 205 lb division might prove to be very tough for him, however, because of the power that some of the fighters possess. Rich likes to stay in the pocket which means taking damage and against someone with power like a Rashad, Rampage or even Chuck (should he come back) it could mean another loss on the record. Rich has a lot of things working to his advantage though. He's very a likable and exciting fighter with the a load of talent. He will continue to put on exciting fights, but will he be a threat to any one's title at 205 or even 185? He would have to beat some top competition in order to accomplish that.

It seems that Rich came in with the wrong plan, or perhaps chose the wrong opponent. But neither of these will affect his future. He will come back, put on an exciting fight and possibly win. No harm done to his career as he sees himself more of an entertaining fighter than a top contender.

It seems to me that with time and the right circumstances, Rich could find himself in the top 5 again as he still has several good years ahead of him, but Cro Cop has already seen his time and watched it pass. Now that everyone in the UFC knows that his biggest weapons doesn't work, he would be simply shark bait for anyone else who would fight him here in the states.

1 comment:

  1. The problem with crocop is that he simply hasnt evolved. His style was always american kickboxing. He has never even matured into muy thai much less really worked to improve his wrestling, ju jitsu or anything else. Now that everyone knows how to beat him on his feet and he cant beat anyone anywhere else, what is left for him? Time to go fishing...