We didn’t post about this sooner because, frankly, we were still so shocked that we didn’t know what to say. On Saturday night at UFC 70: Nations Collide, Gabriel Gonzaga stunned the world but knocking out our hero, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovich, with a kick to the head with less than 10 seconds left in the first round.
Earlier in the night it was revealed that Cro Cop had decided that when his term in the Croatian Parliament was up later this year, he intended to step down and return to leading the Croatian Police anti-terror unit. So not only is he one of the most feared fighters in the world, he’s also a hard-ass who hates terrorists so much that he’s leaving his cushy job to go back to fighting them. Just awesome. That, of course was before he got shocked by the 240-pound Brazilian underdog.
To be fair, Gonzaga is regarded by some as one of the best all around mixed martial artist fighters in the world, and UFC heavyweight champ, Randy Couture, even picked him to win the fight. But damn, seeing Cro Cop out in the canvas for a good minute was simply stunning. The Croatian hammer, the greatest striker in the world was literally crumpled by a right kick to the temple. Gonzaga essentially went Cro Cop on Cro Cop. A video of the KO is currently unavailable on YouTube because of a copyright complaint. We’ll get one up as soon as we can.
The fight was slow to develop with both fighters feeling their way around the ring. Then Cro Cop landed a huge kick to Gonzaga’s side, but the Brazilian was able to catch it and take the Croatian down. From a mounted position Gonzaga tried to land big punches but Cro Cop was able to deflect much of the punishment. Gonzaga then began to use his elbows and was able to open a cut along his opponent’s hairline. In PRIDE, Cro Cop’s former organization, elbows are not allowed, so obviously he’s not used to that type of attack.
After referee Herb Dean stood the two men up, a huge welt was visible on Gonzaga’s side, from the one kick Mirko had landed. As he measured his opponent for another attack, late in the round, Cro Cop took his eyes off of Gonzaga’s right foot. As the kick came, Mirko obviously though the intended target was his side, as he covered his ribs, but he misread it. Gonzaga’s right foot and ankle collided with shocking force to Cro Cop’s temple, and the Croation was out on his feet. He was clearly completely knocked out because of the way he fell, as his right ankle and knee completely crumpled under the weight of his body.
His leg was sickeningly bent before Dean straightened it for him. It’s incredible that he didn’t tear every ligament in his knee and ankle. By our estimation, Cro Cop was completely unconscious for at least a full minute, and he wasn’t even standing for at least seven minutes. In the post-fight interview, Mirko sounded completely exasperated. We just hope he comes back and fights again. He has nothing left to prove, but we want to see him show that this was an aberration – as it almost surely was. Hopefully he’ll continue to train and get used to UFC’s rules and to fighting in the cage and come back and fight again.
This is the third straight UFC event that has ended with a huge upset. In just two months Randy Couture has shocked Tim Sylvia and Matt Serra knocked out Georges St. Pierre. And again Saturday night, Gonzaga proved on perfect shot can end a fight in mixed martial arts.
Still with this win one has to ask, if Cro Cop is on the shelf for any period of time because of Gabriel Gonzaga, who really wins? The answer? Terrorists, that’s who. If there’s one thing we hate more than the Yankees, Dodgers and Raiders, it’s terrorists. And now we hate Gabe Gonzaga for helping them. And for having the same name as a team that’s ruined our NCAA tournament brackets for years.
*Foul Balls has the video, check it out here.