Opinion: Mirko “Cro Cop” Needs to Call it a MMA Career
By Michael Hatamoto
PRIDE legend Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic quietly stepped into the ring during Legends 2 MMA from Moscow, Russia, fighting submission specialist Alexey Oleinik. The old Cro Cop from the PRIDE days clearly is long gone, as the ‘modern’ version of Cro Cop simply doesn’t have anything left for MMA.
Once the fight hit the ground, Oleinik was able to pass to side control and immediately work Cro Cop into a neck crank that forced the Croatian kickboxer to tap out at 4:42 of the opening round. It hardly looked like a competitive fight and the 36-year-old Oleinik picked up his fifth win of 2013, submitting a veteran that shouldn’t have provided such an easy out.
Cro Cop was originally supposed to fight Aleksander Emelianenko in a PRIDE-era rematch, but Emelianenko is recovering from a reported gunshot wound to his hand – and possible alcohol dependency issues (according to Eastern European MMA outlets).
Instead, Cro Cop was matched up with Oleinik, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Russian Sambo specialist,entering the fight with a 47-9-1 record. Cro Cop has fought some excellent grapplers during his career, including Fedor Emelianenko, Frank Mir, Gabriel Gonzaga, Josh Barnett, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira . But in 2013, however, fighting a strong submission specialist proved too much.
After a professional MMA career starting in 2001 and a pro-kickboxing background dating back to 1996, Cro Cop has put his body through a large amount of physical abuse. Unless he wants to compete in K-1, where he won the K-1 World Grand Prix 2012 championship, I think the 39-year-old should certainly stay away from MMA in the future.