Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has finally achieved something he never had up this point in his legendary fight career and has become a world champion. Cro Cop defeated Ismael Londt yesterday in the finals of the 2013 K-1 Grand Prix, held in Zagreb, Croatia.
Prior to the finals, Cro Cop also decisioned Pavel Zhuravlev and Jarrell Miller – a win with some controversy because many observers felt Miller deserved to get the nod from the judges. There was not controversy in the finals, however, as Cro Cop scored a knockdown via left high kick (!) in the second round.
The thirty eight year-old kick boxer, former special forces member and member of Croatia’s Parliament, first fought in K-1 seventeen years ago. He got close but never managed to become champion of the organization’s vaunted Grand Prix before last night. Cro Cop moved on to fight in MMA in Pride and once more got close, twice, to becoming a world champion but on two occasions lost in world title fights – once to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in an interim title bout and once to Fedor Emelianenko.
After the UFC purchased Pride, Cro Cop would go on to fight ten times in the American organization, compiling a 4-6 record and leaving after three straight losses. He has since fought and won once more in MMA competition, this past New Year’s Eve against Shinichi Suzukawa in Japan.
Cro Cop decided to make another run in kickboxing and last night’s home-town win vindicates his decision. Watch his full finals bout in the above video and then highlights of some of our favorite Cro Cop moments after the jump.
Cro Cop Knockouts:
Cro Cop refereeing backyard fights between old dudes (and yes, one of them gets hurt – bad):