Mirko CroCop returns to UFC 137, this weekend October 29th, when he takes on Roy Nelson, the veteran who won ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ Season 10 Heavyweight contract. Many are considering this possibly CroCop’s last fight, as he has talked about retirement. Where does CroCop stand on an all time list of heavyweights? SHERDOG.COM had a nice look at some of CroCop’s greatest moments, and the guy was definitely a machine.
Let me briefly go off on a tangent. The sport of MMA, and especially the UFC owe a grand part of their current success to Dana White, whose driven business model has taken the sport to new heights. I have nothing but respect for Dana, but sometimes a lot of what he states to the media is nonsense.
Because if CroCop is a guy with a legacy, and a guy who it is worth flying your boss to Croatia to resign after a series of losses, there is no way you can continue to berate and bad mouth the legacy of Fedor Emelianenko. Fedor owned CroCop. And a good solid analysis of CroCop’s career would easily put him among the top most protected fighters in the history of PRIDE.
For example, CroCop scored a 45 second KO over someone listed on the SHERDOG website as Alberto Rodriguez. Let’s take a look at this! At the time, Rodriguez wore a mask and was booked as Dos Caras Jr, a Mexican Pro Wrestler.
Here is the bout -
This was 2003. Now, Rodriguez is Alberto Del Rio, one of Pro Wrestling’s biggest names in the WWE, and he uses some submission style techniques in his wrestling. His strong suit is the charisma for Pro Wrestling, as his technique is beyond awful! But he uses that MMA background of nearly 15 matches to the hilt. And you see the KO on every CroCop reel. Meanwhile this bout should be made fun of.
CroCop has two big wins over Top 10 heavyweight Josh Barnett, but he was not able to break thru and beat Rodrigo Noguiera either. So even at his highest point, there were at least two heavyweights in PRIDE who were better than him, Fedor and Noguiera.
He is 4-5 overall in the UFC, and let me go on record as stating he is going to lose to Roy Nelson, unless he gets lucky with some type of KO blow. Nelson is bigger and he is tough enough to get it to the ground against CroCop, where he can definitely finish the fight.
I’m not bad mouthing CroCop, he was always a thrill to watch fight. But as good and exciting a fighter as he was, I’m not sure the talk of a legacy is not too much. You’ve talked retirement for a while now, go ahead and do it, Mirko. Fair well!