Posted 1/27/07 4:41:00PM
Article by: Lars B.
All hail Cro-Cop! This Saturday will mark the day that many hardcore American MMA fans have waited for a long time; the debut of Mirko "Cro-Cop" Filipovic on US soil (and obviously the debut of mmaplayground.com). The former Croatian Anti-Terrorist soldier will drag his thunderous left leg into the biggest MMA production in North America, and arguably the world. The Octagon will house one of the most dangerous men on the planet for up to 15 minutes, but it will probably be closer to one minute. Cro-Cop will look to land one of his tree trunks to the side of 24 year old Eddie Sanchez’s head at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas Saturday night. Sanchez, The North County Fight Club member and Jason Lambert teammate, is coming off a KO victory over Mario Neto at UFC 63 and boasts a 6-0 professional MMA record, but don’t expect those facts to block a vicious high-kick that could send his head into the 17th row. The only thing that will prevent that from happening is hard work, heart, and a riot shield.
Cro-Cop was brought in as a hired gun to clean up the UFC Heavyweight division. The much maligned division was in serious need of some lifeblood, and that is exactly what Dana White got when he signed the most feared striker in the world to a 2 year contract. Cro Cop’s contract with the UFC is a 6-fight deal that is speculated to be in the $6 - $7 million range, the richest contract ever dished-out by the once shallow-pocketed Zuffa. They purchased the rights to an international MMA star that can, and will, turn the North American fight scene on its head. On the streets of Zagreb women are naming their babies after this man. Men are left high-kicking street signs in an attempt to replicate the infamous weapon that their idol unleashes on his victims. This is not some Croatian "can". This man can do some damage!
Cro-Cop may be fighting in an unfamiliar land, but do not expect Eddie Sanchez to be the fan favorite come Saturday night under the bright lights. Cro-Cop’s 21-4 record is littered with 14 KO’s that have been against some of the best competition in the world. Barnett, Silva, Coleman, and Minowa, to name a few, have all fell victim to the assault of the Croat. His latest triumph over the primal looking Wanderlei Silva has been repeated over and over on MMA highlight reels, and the KO truly solidified his position as one of the best fighters in the world.
The biggest acquisition in the UFC’s history will have to be utilized carefully, and Joe Silva sees Eddie Sanchez as a fighter who will put up a heart-filled fight, but more than likely fall victim to a horrific knockout. The only chance that “Dirty” Sanchez has to win this fight is to smother Cro-Cop against the cage and somehow get him to the ground. Sanchez cannot treat Cro-Cop like a promiscuous female with STDs and keep him an arms length away. He must cut down the distance and not allow the Croatian to extend his weapons that he calls limbs. Look for this fight to end quickly and violently if Sanchez cannot do that.
Sanchez has to be commended for having the stones to step inside the Octagon with such a feared competitor like Cro-Cop. It will surely earn him the respect of many fans and of the UFC brass. Look for Sanchez to get a winnable fight in his next appearance in the UFC, but the young California fighter has nothing to lose on Saturday night. When Big John McCarthy slaps his hands between these two fighters make sure that you do not blink, because this one could end in a flash. The arrival of Cro-Cop on the US MMA scene will be a catalyst for other international fighters to bring their abilities to the states. The growing pockets of Zuffa and the shrinking bankroll of PrideFC will play a big factor in the signing of big name free agents over the next few years. Now the question is; how will the somewhat uneducated US fan base accept these international fighters? I have a feeling that once Cro-Cop unleashes just one of those devastating left high-kicks that the US fans will welcome these foreign fighters with open arms. Enter Cro-Cop.
Prediction: Cro-Cop wins by signature left high kick in the 1st
Vegas - Cro-Cop -1500
MMAplayground.com Cro-Cop 2096 votes
Sanchez 56 votes
Posted 1/25/07 8:48:00AM
Crocop in 2nd round by Low Kicks
Posted 1/15/07 8:21:00AM
Very impressive article that is, thanks very much. I'm glad Cro Cop is in the UFC but I would be ten times more happier if we would of seen the rematch with Fedor first.
Posted 1/15/07 1:10:00PM
mirko cro-cop: "right kick, hospital. left kick, cemetary!"
Posted 1/29/07 5:01:00PM
Good article. I watched the live UFC 67 weigh-in today and Mirko looked very relaxed as usual. He's ready to make his UFC debut. It was odd seeing him get weighed-in in front of a UFC environment. Less than 24 hours until UFC 67!
Posted 1/27/07 10:09:00PM
You still might get your wish. If Dana White keeps throwing the money around there is no doubt that Fedor will come to the states and fight.
Posted 2/1/07 3:20:00PM
I've been a CroCop fan for quite a while now, and i was thrilled to hear
about this announcement. When the rumors started to wonder,
i refused to even think that would ever happen, yet today, i got
to see my favouritte fighter in the octagon. When he entered,
i was pinching myself in the arm, just to make sure...
Great move from UFC's part to "hire this gun", i'll be looking
forward to many fights, and maybe a belt (or two) along the way as well.