Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic returned to MMA action today in Japan after a 14 month "retirement" from the sport with a 78 second submission win over Shinichi "Wakakirin" Suzukawa in Antonio Inoki's IGF Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2012 show.
Here's MMA Fighting's description of the action:
The fight began with an early eye poke from Suzukawa, but once the action resumed, Cro Cop moved aggressively forward with strikes and tripped his opponent to the ground, where he quickly moved to full mount before easing into a fight-finishing arm bar.
It was a typical matchup for a Japanese New Year's Eve event, with the decorated veteran facing an opponent making his MMA debut. Suzukawa was formerly a sumo wrestler who left that sport in 2009 and has since performed as a professional wrestler.
The big question about the bout is whether it was a "work" (a bout with a pre-determined winner) or a "shoot" (an actual competitive sporting contest) since it took place on a card that mixed purported MMA bouts with definite pro wrestling works.
From watching the tape it looks like a shoot since it would be ridiculous to script a 78 second work beginning with an eye poke and concluding with a quick arm bar from the famous striker with no drama in between.
Cro Cop may face Pedro Rizzo in February but that is unconfirmed.
Complete Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye IGF 2012 Results via Fight Opinion
Kazuyuki Fujita defeated Naoya Ogawa in 8′27 by referee stoppage (rush of punches). The fans booed the finish because they didn't think Ogawa suffered damage for a stoppage. Inoki did his 1-2-3 dah! chant and not a lot of people in the audience went along with it.
Atsushi Sawada & Hideki Suzuki defeated Ray Sefo & Hiromi Amada in 15′20 when Suzuki used a double-arm suplex hold on Amada.
MMA: Mirko Cro Cop defeated Wakakirin in 78 seconds.
MMA: Satoshi Ishii defeated Tim Sylvia after 3R by unanimous decision. There was some booing here.
MMA: Minowaman defeated Bor Bratovz (Slovenia) in R1 in 3′18 with a heel hold.
MMA: Rolles Gracie defeated Yusuke Kawaguchi in R1 in 2 minutes by submission.
Kendo Kashin & Shogun Okamoto defeated Bob Sapp & Erik Hammer in 4′28 when Kashin went over on Sapp.
Kickboxing: Prince Ali defeated Masayoshi Kakutani in R1 in 1′43 by TKO.
Masked Genome Jr. defeated Kohaku Kamen in 4′47 with an Octopus hold.
Akira Jo defeated Kotaro Nasu in 6′47.