Whenever Mirko Cro Cop’s name is brought up in a conversation, one thing comes to mind: shattering kicks. As a veteran K-1 kickboxer, the Croatian sensation was able to have a smooth enough transition into mixed martial arts, and Japan’s Pride Fighting Championships became a home for him for five years.
At Pride Bushido 2 on February 15, 2004, in Yokohama, Cro Cop was matched up against Yoshihisa Yamamoto. Cro Cop already had incurred his first loss against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, while Yamamato was already a veteran who had faced the likes of Rickson Gracie, Bob Sapp, Guy Mezger, and Mark Kerr, among others.
With his reputation as a devastating kicker, Yamamoto decided to play some mind games by egging on Cro Cop to chop down on his leg. It did not turn out to be such a smart idea, as Cro Cop never let up on the aggression.
A few accidental eye pokes and soccer kicks later, Yamamoto was bleeding from the nose. Cro Cop threw a few more bombs before the fight was officially stopped at 2:12 of the first round.
Now 46 years old, Yamamoto has been inactive since 2012 and has lost his last nine fights. The 42-year-old Cro Cop, on the other hand, won the 2016 Rizin Open-Weight Grand Prix and announced his retirement right after the fight. He is, however, open for a “farewell fight” in Japan.