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Tag: tributes

Remembering Cro Cop: A Look Back at the Career of Mirko Filipovic

By Ryan Ventura

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.

Continue reading this tribute to one of the all-time greats at Lowkick.Blitzcorner.com.

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9/11 Ten-Year Anniversary: The New York MMA Community Looks Back [VIDEO]

From TheFightNerd:

“This Sunday marks the ten-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The way America looked at itself was altered immensely on that date, and a decade later the world is a very different place. Memories of panic and uncertainty are still present, but the urge to keep moving forward is even stronger. In remembrance of this anniversary, TheFightNerd.com, has released an exclusive short-film that commemorates this event alongside the New York MMA community. ‘A Fighting Spirit’ is a video memoir that interviews members of the NY martial arts community and discusses where they were when the Towers collapsed, how they have coped, and how New York and America have grown stronger.

Directed by Kahleem Poole-Tejada (director of the full-length documentary ‘New York MMA’) and produced by Matthew Kaplowitz (Editor-in-Chief of TheFightNerd.com) in association with Ranger Up, the film takes viewers around a tour of downtown Manhattan and provides a glimpse inside several of New York City’s top MMA gyms. It features many NY-based fighters, such as Renzo Gracie, Chris Weidman, Pete ‘Drago’ Sell, and Vitor ‘Shaolin’ Ribeiro, as well as Stephen Koepfer of NY Combat Sambo, Mark Yehia of ‘Elite Plus MMA,’ Rob Constance of ‘The Renzo Gracie Academy’ and President of the ‘Ultimate Absolute’ grappling tournament, and Emilio Novoa, President of ADCC North America. Also appearing is UFC middleweight fighter Jorge Rivera, as well as Strikeforce middleweight Tim Kennedy, who adds the voices of members of the U.S. Armed Forces to this emotional piece.”

As a New York resident since August 2002, the ten-year anniversary of 9/11 has put me in a reflective mood all week. Maybe you feel the same. If you have any recollections or tributes to share from that day, please leave them in the comments section. Here, I’ll start…

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‘Lights Out’ for Chris Lytle: A Farewell Letter to a Fighter’s Fighter

Chris Lytle Lights Out UFC MMA photos

By Jared “DangadaDang” Jones

When asked to describe his career in his final post-fight interview following his submission victory over Dan Hardy, Chris Lytle summed up more than a decade’s worth of sport-defining battles with one word — “exciting.” And how appropriate a sign-off it was for the soft spoken, hard swinging Indiana born fighter. Over the course of 54 fights, 20 of which took place under the bright lights of the UFC, Lytle never once let a loss, an opponent, or a chance at title contention stop him from entertaining his audience.

In the fight game, both fighters and fans often look at success with tunnel vision, believing that the belt around one’s waist alone defines it. But even with the greatest champions, we sometimes find ourselves questioning their willingness to take big risks for the relatively small reward of the fans’ respect. And though he never donned UFC gold, it goes without saying that “Lights Out” was never one to take the easy road to victory. From his legendary slugfests with Paul Kelly, Thiago Alves, and Marcus Davis to his impressive and creative submission victories over Matt Brown, Brian Foster, and Jason Gilliam, Lytle always put the fans’ delight before his own, throwing caution, his health, and perhaps his better judgment to the wind in order to ensure that we all got our money’s worth. And his final battle was no exception; though he had a clear grappling advantage over Hardy, Lytle opted to slug it out with the dangerous striker, choosing to end the fight by submission only when prompted to by Hardy himself.

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