Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic is a heavyweight Mixed Martial Arts fighter with a record of 22-4-2. That’s an awfully impressive record, but the record does not tell the whole story. However, the record is a nice starting point.
Let’s examine “Cro Cop’s” record, starting with his losses. Mirko’s four losses come at the hands of some of the best fighters in MMA history, they are (in reverse chronological order):
1) Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira – Former Pride heavyweight champion.
2) Kevin Randleman – Former UFC heavyweight champion.
3) Fedor Emelianenko – Current Pride heavyweight champion.
4) Mark Hunt – Former K-1 Grand Prix champion.
Hold on, has this guy ever lost to someone who didn’t hold the belt? To anyone who at one time or another wasn’t at the very top of the sport? No, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic is the real deal. I said earlier that the record does not tell the whole story, so let’s analyze these losses a little and see what we can figure out.
Mirko Cro Cop’s loss to Antonio Nogueira was by arm bar submission…in 2003. This is a fight that Mirko was dominating up until the submission. It was four years ago, which is a lifetime to a fighter who was, until that time, primarily a stand up fighter. It’s obvious that Cro Cop took this loss to heart as he hasn’t been submitted since.
Kevin Randleman was the next fighter to defeat Cro Cop and he did it in style. He knocked out Mirko, who is widely considered to be the best striker in the world. I have no explanation for this. Certainly Kevin Randleman is a powerful man and very fast for a man of his size, but to out strike Mirko Filipovic, that must be a mis-print. No, it’s not a mis print, however he did not out strike Mirko, he landed one big punch, timed just right and it floored Cro Cop. No excuses, no explanation, Kevin Randleman nailed Mirko and Mirko paid the price.
Fedor Emelianenko was the next man in Mirko’s short list of defeats. Many thought that this fight would either be won by Cro Cop knocking out Fedor, or Fedor submitting or ground and pounding Cro Cop. The fight did not go that way at all. While Fedor did win a narrow but unanimous decision, Mirko showed well. He avoided submissions, worked well from his back and showed that he has become much more than just a great stand up fighter. In the end, Fedor was just a little too strong and a little too talented. Today, Fedor remains the Pride heavyweight champion and is likely the best heavyweight fighter in the world, but many would like to see a rematch with Mirko.
Mark Hunt is Mirko Cro Cop’s most recent defeat. This fight took place in 2005 and personally I believe Mirko did enough to win. However, the judges gave a split decision to Hunt. Let’s remember that in this fight Mirko was fighting a K-1 Grand Prix champion, so it’s not surprising that most of the fight was standing up. It’s also not surprising that it was very close as two of the worlds best strikers (and the man with the worlds hardest head) were fighting. Hunt is nearly impossible to knock out.
Mirko has also won twenty two fights, his last five in a row and won the Pride open weight tournament held in 2006. He won that tournament by defeating Minowa, Yoshida, Silva and Barnett. While Minowa was expected, Yoshida is a Judo gold medalist, Silva is the pride middleweight champion (middleweight is up to 205 in Pride) and Josh Barnett is a former UFC heavyweight champion. He defeated both Silva and Barnett in the same night.
It ‘s Mirko’s fight against Silva which spawned the title for this piece. He was so overwhelmingly dominant in all aspects of that fight that it is difficult for me to picture any MMA fighter, in any weight class defeating Mirko Cro Cop at this point. Certainly I don’t see any competition in the UFC. Once Mirko wins the UFC heavyweight title (he will win it), Dana White will need to stop looking for someone who can beat Tim Silvia and start looking for someone who can compete with Mirko “Cro Cop”! Can anyone say “Fedor”!
Keep following the fights!