UFC 115: Mirko 'Cro Cop' (26-7-2, 1 NC) vs. Pat Barry (5-1-0) Preview
Mirko Filipović (26-7-2, 1 NC)
Patrick Barry (5-1-0)
Filipovic – Kickboxing, Boxing, Muay Thai
Barry – Sanshou, Muay Thai
|36 fights||26||7||6 fights||5W||1L|
|By knockout||20||2||By knockout||5||0|
|By submission||3||2||By submission||0||1|
|By decision||3||3||By decision||0||0|
Mirko ‘Cro-Cop’ Filipovic can be considered a more experienced, gritty version of Patrick Berry and it’s going to play right into the hands of Cro-Cop when they face off in Vancouver, Canada. Filipovic was a Croatian Cop prior to fighting in mixed martial arts and kickboxing, hence the nickname ‘Cro-Cop’.
Not only has Filipovic been fighting in the MMA worlds for what seems like forever, but he also has a kickboxing record of 16-7 with eleven of his victories coming from knockouts.
After he had a personal dissatisfaction with the salaries in K-1 Kickboxing (he knew he could make more in MMA), Filipovic made the switch to PRIDE FC where he became one of the most household names in the sport, fighting a staggering 24 times between 2001 and 2006 and compiling a record of 18-4-2 (Cro-Cop also fought in three times in different organizations, winning all three).
The two draws on his professional record came in his first two fights in Pride against Nobuhiki Takada at Pride 17 and Wanderlei Silva at Pride 20. It should be noted both fights were under 'special rules' that stated if the allotted time ran out, the fight results in a draw.
Basically, no knockout or submission, than it’s a draw… weird. And I’m sure I am not the only one that’s glad it’s changed.
Throughout the next few years, Cro-Cop won fights over notable fighters such as Heath Herring, Kevin Randleman, Mark Coleman, Wanderlei Silva (an INCREDIBLE fight and knockout you can see below) and Josh Barnett (twice), the latter fight earning him the Pride Open-Weight 2006 Grand Prix Championship.
Filipovic’s four losses in Pride came at the hands of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Kevin Randleman, Fedor Emelianenko and Mark Hunt. The only real surprise in the group is Hunt, but the fight went the distance. Hunt was more aggressive during the bout, which is something that PRIDE judges take highly into account when scoring.
The next move for Cro-Cop was to come to the booming UFC in mid-2006 but he had a disappointing record of 1-2 (win over Eddie Sanchez, losses against Gabriel Gonzaga and Cheick Kongo) before jumping ship to fight in Dream 1 & 6 as well as Dynamite 2008 going 2-0 with one no contest.
The improvement in record proved to be enough to convince Dana White to bring back Filipovic to fight in the once again in the octagon. Since being back, he flipped his record going 2-1 with wins over Mostapha Al-Turk (UFC 99) and Antony Perosh (UFC 110) with the loss coming in between against Junior Dos Santos (UFC 103).
Cro-Cop has won big fights and lost big fights in every way you can imagine and that experience will be too much for Barry to handle.
Patrick “Hype or Die” Barry started training professional for kickboxing at the age of 21 (now 30) and made his debut in 2002 at the U.S. Open International Martial Arts Championships, where he won the title.
He changed clubs shortly after and a year later participated at Kung-fu World Championships in China, winning a silver medal. In June 2003, he won both the US National Sanshou Team Shot, and also a World Title by knocking out Paul Gurevidius.
He won another silver medal in Wushu Kung-Fu (again in China), before winning the K. Superstar Title in New Orleans. In 2004, Barry moved to the kickboxing organization K-1 World Grand Prix and lost in his debut (via split decision) before moving to Amsterdam, Netherlands to train with four-time K-1 World Champ Ernesto Hoost.
He fought in five K-1 bouts in 2007 compiling a record of 2-3 as well as ‘World Combat League’ going 3-1 but at this point, Hoost had given up on Barry. It resulted in a fallout between the two and Barry knew at the time he was being overwhelmed in the kickboxing world. It was there he turned his focus to MMA, signing with ‘Combat USA’.
In his first few professional fights, he defeated Mike Delaney, John George and Simon Diouf to bring his record to 3-0 before the UFC took notice and swiped up the Sanshou expert. At UFC 92, he made his octagon debut against Dan Evenson and Barry won with a decisive TKO victory at 2:36 of round one after multiple low leg kicks injured Evenson.
Next, the UFC paired up Barry vs Tim Haque, who handed ‘Hype or Die’ his first loss as a mixed martial artist. Most recently, Barry fought Antoni Hardick (who trains with Ernesto Hoost) and Hardick was TKO’d with a flurry of strikes at 2:30 of round two.
It earned Barry knock-out and fight of the night, which put a nice $120,000 in his pocket. The win was also validation for Barry who wanted nothing more than to prove to Hoost he had made a mistake in letting him slip through the ropes.
I wonder if Hoost will tune in at UFC 115 to watch Barry get dummied by a veteran of the sport… something he’s never faced before.
TheCoach’s Pick: CRO COP via KNOCKOUT
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