When “Big Nog” was replaced by Mirko Cro Cop to fight against Frank Mir at UFC 119, the heavyweight bout became interesting, but raised a lot of questions. Is this fight too short notice for Cro Cop? Will this be the last fight of his MMA career? And, what will become of the fighter that takes the win?
My questions were soon answered when the aged Croatian was knocked out in the third round due to a hard knee to the face.
Although Cro Cop was defeated, both fighters seemed tentative and sluggish in the first two rounds. And even if Frank Mir walked away with the win, will he be able to take on higher ranked fighters anymore, or is this it for him as well? Post-fight, Frank Mir’s body language said it all. It was clear that the usual confident and sometimes cocky Mir realized that even with the win it was a sub-par performance. Now it may finally be time for Mirko Cro Cop to hang up his gloves, and retire. Whether it be a fan or foe, no one wants to see this former elite and proud champion try to continue with diminished skills as his body fails him. As disheartening as the situation is, Cro Cop will go down in history and will forever be a legend in the sport of mixed martial arts.