Opinion: Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic Meets Alexey Oleinik at Legends 2
By Michael Hatamoto
Former PRIDE superstar Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic was scheduled to rematch Aleksander Emelianenko next month at Legends 2, but the fight fell through due to continued personal problems Emelianenko needs to address.
Instead, Cro Cop will fight Alexey Oleinik, a Bellator and KSW heavyweight veteran with a solid 47-9 record dating back to 1997. The fight will take place at Legends 2 on Friday, November 8 from Moscow, Russia.
Oleinik is riding an eight-fight win streak, including a rematch submission win against Jeff Monson at Oplot Challenge 54, and should prove to be a tough test for Cro Cop.
Cro Cop remains a shell of his former self from the PRIDE days, though has found success after leaving the UFC in late 2011. Since then, he picked up a submission win in the MMA world against Shinichi Suzukawa in December 2012, along with six wins in the kickboxing ring.
I don’t want to see Cro Cop get battered when competing in MMA, and believe Oleinik should be able to drag Cro Cop down to the ground. Cro Cop needs to pick his strikes, make sure they connect, and damage Oleinik on the feet before the Ukrainian fighter tries to turn this into a grappling match.
Ultimately, I will always cheer on Cro Cop, whether he’s fighting MMA or kickboxing, but believe the 39-year-old will be overmatched in this fight. Follow Full Contact Fighter next month to see how the PRIDE and UFC heavyweight superstar does in his latest MMA fight.
Speaking of Emelianenko, the fighter isn’t in shape and must deal with another drinking-related incident, according to Russian media reports. A possible rematch between Cro Cop and Emelianenko isn’t out of the question for 2014, but the younger brother to famed heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko must work out his personal demons.