It’s not like Cro Cop has never pondered retirement before, but if last night’s K-1 bout against fellow kickboxing legend Ray Sefo truly marked the end of the road for Mirko Filipovic, then Cro Cop is going out on the highest note possible.
Last night at the Arena Zagreb in Zagreb, Croatia, Mirko Filipovic defeated Ray Sefo by unanimous decision in the main event of “Final Fight”. While both men fatigued in the latter rounds, Cro Cop utilized a diverse striking attack and didn’t take too much damage from the heavy handed Sefo on his way to the victory. Was it the most inspiring performance ever? Not quite. Still, it’s nice to see a legend like Cro Cop go out on a victory over a legitimate opponent.
(If anyone can explain what is going on in this photo, we’ll give you Carmen Valentina’s digits.)
After Edson Barboza’s spinning heel kick KO over Terry Etim gave birth to the phrase “falling tree” knockout here on CP, we got to thinking, what other classifications of devastation existed in the MMA highlight-o-sphere? Debates got heated, egos got crushed, and limbs got mangled, but we were eventually able to agree that the next category of KO’s in need of appreciation was that of the “lawn chair.”
What is a “lawn chair” knockout, you ask? Well, it’s that special kind of knockout, perhaps the complete opposite of a “falling tree,” in which the victim’s legs give out from underneath them almost instantaneously after the lethal blow is delivered, often forcing their body to collapse into itself like that of a common lawn chair. And to add insult to injury, the poor son of a bitch often receives an unnecessary strike courtesy of his own knee on the way down. Here are nine of the finest examples, in no particular order.
Chuck Liddell v. Guy Mezger
Ricardo Lamas v. Bendy Casimir
Check out seven more beautiful examples of this phenomena after the jump.
How is it that names like Rousimar Palhares, Gabriel Gonzaga, Jose Aldo, and even Vitor Belfort paled in comparison to Mario Yamasaki? Never mind that Gonzaga finally got a big win or that the Phenom had rebounded from his embarrassing loss to fellow Brazilian Anderson Silva. Yamasaki’s decision to overturn an apparent first round TKO had everyone up in arms.
Most notably incensed by the fight’s result was UFC President Dana White. Steve Mazzagatti could only listen in disbelief as Dana White actually defended a referee that made a mistake. Instead of blaming Yamasaki personally, Dana White rekindled the ever-smoldering topic of instant replay: “There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes. There’s nothing wrong. We’re [expletive] human. We’re going to do it. But you have to be able to go back and say, ‘We made a mistake. Here’s the proof. Let’s overturn it.’”
But would the addition of instant replay in MMA really be the answer to botched referee decisions? Or would it create even more unforeseen problems?
When I was ten years old my uncle bought me a brand new Playstation game that helped blossom my love and interest in combat sports. K-1 Revenge came out in 1999 and it introduced me to many kickboxing legends that I admire and still enjoy watching today. Names like Ernesto Hoost, Peter Aerts, the late Andy Hug, Mike Bernardo, and many more. One name in the game that really stood out to me at the time was Mirko Tiger. Not because of his style or the way he played, but it was his name itself that I just found to be very cool. He wasn’t the best fighter in the game, but the ring announcer mentioning the name ‘Mirrrrrkooooooo Tiiiiggggeeeerr’ has always stuck in my head.
Eventually I got older, found out that his real name was Mirko Filipovic, became more familiar with his kickboxing accomplishments, and of course his run in PRIDE. The man who would later be best known as ‘Cro Cop’ began his kickboxing career in 1996 following in the footsteps of fellow Croatian legend Branco Cikatic. The southpaw of course got the nickname Cro Cop from his days working as a commando in the Croatian polilce anti-terrorism unit.
(Don’t worry Bob, it can only get better from here. That has to be true at least once in a while.)
Imagine this scenario; you’re an up and coming fighter in the cut-throat world of MMA who’s finally earned his shot at the big time. The packed stadium, the camera crews, the ring girls, they’re all there. And best of all, your fight is about to be broadcast for the world to see. “I’ve made it,” you think as you bathe in the bright lights shining down on you.
But then, before you know what hit you, you’re looking up at a large, possibly Rastafarian man, who’s asking if you know where you are. And for the rest of your life, you are dubbed “that guy who got destroyed by ______ .” No matter what you accomplish, you will always be known for one bump in the road that just about everyone happened to witness. Well, here at CP, we know this story all too well, so we decided to check up on a few of these poor suckers, VH1 style, and find out what they were up to. Because knowing is half the battle. Enjoy.
What he’s been up to: As it turns out, Dos Caras Jr. has actually had a rather successful career since nearly being decapitated by Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic back at PRIDE – Bushido 1. His real name is Alberto Rodriguez, and he actually wasn’t that bad of a fighter. Honestly, considering he both wore a mask and went by a fake name, he was a pretty damn awesome fighter, and easily the most successful. After dropping a unanimous decision to Kazuhiro Nakamura at Pride 27, “Two Faces” went 6-1, with all wins coming by way of stoppage. He even managed to pull out a head kick KO of his own back in 2010 against 3-8 fighter Arthur Bart.
If you decided to play the new CagePotato drinking game this weekend, you’re probably way too hung over to think about your financial future right now. But now that the dust has settled from UFC 137, you owe it to yourself to study our insightful and highly opinionated rundown of where to direct your hypothetical MMA investments. It’s “Buy, Sell, Hold” time once again, Potato Nation…
Even if Baby Jay is pulling a Jamie Varner (man I hope that’s not a euphemism) as Mr. Falvo so eloquently put it, the writing on the wall has been there for a while now even if the majority of fans didn’t bother to read it. BJ announcing his retirement Saturday night may have been a moment of weakness when his emotions got the best of him which led to a rash decision, but let me remind you (just like every other single story you read today about “The Prodigy”) that Penn has went 1-3-1 in his last five fights. The Hawaiian may fight again to collect another paycheck but there is no more money to be made as a shareholder.
(It’s confusing, because in Strikeforce, standing elbow strikes during weigh-ins are totally legal. / Photo via CombatLifestyle. For more photos from this set, click here.)
After five years in the wilderness, Nick Diaz is finally returning to the Octagon tonight, at UFC 137 in Las Vegas. (As expected, Diaz is much, much less excited about this than we are.) His opponent is BJ Penn, a living legend and former two-division UFC champion whose future in the sport very much depends on his performance tonight.
Round-by-round results from the “Penn vs. Diaz” pay-per-view card will be piling up after the jump starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, courtesy of CagePotato liveblog assassin Matt Kaplan. Refresh the page every few minutes for the latest updates; as with our last UFC PPV liveblog, we’ll be including “next page” links to reduce spoilage, so click ‘em as the night goes on. Thanks for being here, and let us know how you feel in the comments section.
(Ah, 2007. A very fine year for gogoplatas. / Photo via Sherdog)
By Ben Goldstein
Over the last two decades, MMA has evolved so consistently that fighters are still finding new and unexpected ways to destroy their opponents — while causing fans to spit their beers in shock. We decided to take a lil’ spin through MMA history and identify the single most awe-inspiring technique from each year since the sport’s modern inception. We expect you to disagree with us; there’s a comments section just for that purpose. And away we go…
1993:Royce Gracie’s Rear-Naked Choke vs. Ken Shamrock @ UFC 1, 11/12/93
(Fight starts at the 3:54 mark)
You have to remember that in the early ’90s, a well-placed roundhouse kick to the head was considered the pinnacle of martial arts. What Royce Gracie introduced to fight fans in his early UFC run was something much more practical, less flashy, and a little bit scary. Gracie’s submission of Ken Shamrock — and the similar hold he used to stop Gerard Gordeau in the finals — proved that skill beat size, and pajamas beat man-panties.
1994: Dan Severn’s Suplexes vs. Anthony Macias @ UFC 4, 12/16/94
It’s hard to define someone like Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, a man who is perhaps the most multi-faceted, not to mention intriguing figure in MMA. Aside from his incredible list of credentials including time in both the Croatian elite Special Forces Unit and Parliament, the man has amassed a mixed martial arts and kickboxing resume that reads like a Hall of Fame list in either sport.
But come Saturday night at UFC 137, Cro Cop will simply be fighting for the right to continue his career, or maybe just to end it on his own terms. In a way, Filipovic is kind of like the Metallica of the heavyweights, with his 2006 Pride Grand Prix win being his Master of Puppets. And, like Metallica, everything since then has been well…just kind of downhill. The devastating loss to Gabriel Gonzaga was his ReLoad, the bittersweet win over Pat Barry his Death Magnetic, and the back-to-back knockout losses to Frank Mir and Brendan Schuab his Lulu. Except, unlike Lulu, those losses only felt like an hour and a half of pure shit.