UFC and Pride veteran Mirko Cro Cop was in action this weekend. The kickboxing star was fighting for K-1 at their 2012 K-1 Grand Prix Final 16. In the main event of the evening, Cro Cop took on American Randy Blake for a shot in the 2012 Grand Prix finals on December 26 in New York City. Check out the fight here, and be sure to stick around for the 3rd round, as things get interesting.
Shades of Floyd Mayweather vs. Victor Ortiz in round 3 as Blake lands a bit of a cheap shot. Though, like Mayweather vs. Ortiz, it was perfectly legal, as the ref had resumed the fight and Cro Cop was not protecting himself. It's a bit sad that a clean, totally unprotected and unexpected shot from Blake barely even stuns Cro Cop.
With this win, Cro Cop is now a perfect 3-0 since making his return to kickboxing earlier this year. While he's not the head kick KO machine of old, he's had a surprising amount of success in this run, swapping that aggression of his youth for patience and veteran smarts now.
At this point, Mirko has to be considered one of the favorites to win the Grand Prix. I'd put him alongside Hesdy Gerges as the two clear favorites. Cro Cop had a decorated career in K-1 before making the move to MMA, but he never was able to capture the K-1 Grand Prix crown, making it to the finals in 1999, but losing there to the great Ernesto Hoost. A win in December would be an amazing achievement to round out his career.
Check back later for more coverage from the K-1 Final 16.