Glory 14 in Zagreb, Croatia, Saturday featured a highly anticipated bout between two-time K-1 World Grand Prix champion Remy Bonjasky and crowd favorite Mirko "Cro-Cop" Filipovic. At 38 years of age, Bonjasky was set to retire after the bout, and after a controversial decision, he will go out one win richer.
After three intense rounds of action, Bonjasky was declared victorious by majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28). However, it was blatantly apparent that neither Cro-Cop nor the audience in attendance agreed with the outcome.
Once the final tally was revealed, Cro-Cop left the ring quickly as the crowd became restless. Their displeasure is certainly warranted after breaking down the fight.
From the beginning of the bout, Cro-Cop was the more assertive and aggressive fighter. Right away he came out throwing a high kick at Bonjasky while the crowd erupted in excitement. Cro-Cop continued his effectiveness, landing shots to Bonjasky's body.
Bonjasky relied on his kicks early on; however, Cro-Cop's defense stood up to the challenge, as he routinely dodged and caught Bonjasky's attempts.
In the second round, Bonjasky became more assertive, continuing to penetrate Cro-Cop's defenses with multiple kicks. Still, it was the same story, as Bonjasky was unable to make solid contact. He had several slip-ups in the round, falling after missing a high kick and allowing Cro-Cop to catch several others.
Cro-Cop managed to get Bonjasky against the ropes late in the round and landed a couple of punches while his opponent struggled to get out of harm's way.
The third round featured more of Cro-Cop's aggressiveness. He came out swinging immediately, forcing Bonjasky to almost fall through the ropes early.
In an ongoing trend, Bonjasky attempted to rally with a high kick; however, it was caught by Cro-Cop and Bonjasky was thrown to the ground. This happened twice more throughout the duration of the final round.
Cro-Cop landed a knee and high kick after putting Bonjasky against the ropes once again before the bout concluded.
Even though it appeared as though the Croatian was in control for most of the fight, the final scoring did not go his way and Bonjasky was awarded the victory by majority decision.
Perhaps it was Bonjasky's defensive prowess that afforded him the victory. After all, the match wasn't filled with clean contact and remained rather sloppy throughout. Cro-Cop attempted to position himself for multiple head kicks, but Bonjasky's range wouldn't allow his competitor to get within striking distance.
Cro-Cop was the more aggressive fighter; although, due to the sloppiness of the fight, the clean hits that Bonjasky was able to land certainly helped in the decision.
Where these fighters go from here is up in the air. It appears that Bonjasky is set to retire, and he probably should after earning this victory, albeit a controversial one. Cro-Cop has also danced around the idea of retirement, as the Croatian is 39 years of age.
However, it is unlikely that Cro-Cop would be satisfied with leaving the ring for good after a disappointing outcome like this. It should be safe to say that we have not seen the last of this Croatian fighter.
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