28 Aug 2012 14:45:44 PM
As Reddit/MMA reminds us, today is the seventh anniversary of Fedor Emelianenko and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic‘s meeting at PRIDE Final Conflict 2005, an instant classic that still ranks among the greatest heavyweight fights in MMA history. Emelianenko had already held the PRIDE heavyweight title for two-and-a-half years by the time he made his belt defense against Cro Cop, and entered the match with a PRIDE record of 10-0 with one no-contest. Meanwhile, Cro Cop had earned his shot at Fedor on the strength of a seven-fight PRIDE win streak that included victories over Alexander Emelianenko, Josh Barnett, Kevin Randleman, and Mark Coleman.
Though both fighters would later complain that they came into the fight less than 100% healthy, Emelianenko and Filipovic put on a thrilling war for the entirety of the three-round, 20-minute fight. Cro Cop started strong, breaking Fedor’s nose with punches and punishing him with kicks to the body, but Fedor regained momentum as Cro Cop’s cardio began to fade, slugging his way to a unanimous decision victory. It was Emelianenko’s toughest fight to that point, and arguably his most entertaining. As for Filipovic, he may have fallen short of the PRIDE heavyweight title that night, but his greatest career triumph was just around the corner.
After the jump: If you have the time to spare, the complete fight is below…Read More ADD COMMENTS (5) DIGG THIS