Mirko Cro Cop faced a do or die situation in his UFC 110 bout against Anthony Perosh. The legendary heavyweight had fared badly during his previous outings in the Octagon, and his steely ways with the UFC brass and the media made him one of the least popular fighters on the roster, at least behind the scenes.
Cro Cop was scheduled to face Ben Rothwell tonight, but Rothwell came down with a stomach bug and had to pull out of the fight. Local native Anthony Perosh stepped up with two days notice to take the fight.
Perosh was game and courageous, but he was no match for Cro Cop. The version of Cro Cop that showed up tonight was a mere shadow of the version from PRIDE’s glory years, but he was good enough to batter Perosh with plenty of straight rights while avoiding his opponents desperate takedown attempts. Perosh survived the first round, but a brutal Cro Cop elbow opened up a gigantic gash on his forehead near the end of the second round. The doctors allowed the fight to continue to the end of the second right, much to the confusion of the perplexed Cro Cop, who seemingly couldn’t believe the fight was allowed to continue. The fight was stopped at the end of the second round due to the cut.
It was a much-needed win for Cro Cop. He was much bigger than his usual 220 pounds with a ton of extra muscle. His conditioning was greatly improved since his loss to Junior Dos Santos, and even though we only saw one of the legendary head kicks that made him famous, he had enough power in his punches to do plenty of damage. Nobody will claim that Cro Cop is back, but he’s not gone, and at this point that’s probably good enough.