A couple of months ago, I wrote a piece about the great Igor Vovchanchyn for this series. It highlighted his cold-blooded knockout of Francisco Bueno in ‘99, an irrefutable all-time great.
It was the ideal introductory fight for those acquainting themselves with Vovchanchyn and a refreshing throwback for long-time fans. This feature could still serve the purpose for the former, but for the latter, it could be distressing to watch.
Vovchanchyn entered many of his bouts with a size disadvantage. At 5’8” with a 67-inch reach, most of his opponents towered over him. Paul Varelans, 6’8”. Gary Goodridge, 6’3”. Gilbert Yvel, 6’2”. But that didn’t stop him from ending all three fights in the first round.
So when he was matched up against a 6’2” Mirko Cro Cop in 2003, it was business as usual for the Ukrainian legend. Vovchanchyn already had 59 professional fights under his belt at the time compared to Cro Cop’s eight (excluding 26 kickboxing matches across the globe).
This was a short fight so I’ll skip the breakdown and just let you all enjoy or look away. If you’re here just for the kick, it happens at the 2:27 mark of the video below.
And for all you PRIDE Never Die hardcores, here’s the B-roll courtesy of the ref cam.