Biggest Non-UFC Fights: Fedor Emelianenko vs. Mirko Cro Cop

This fight is considered to have been one of the all-time classics in mixed martial arts history.  The bout took place on August 28, 2005, in Tokyo, Japan.  Fedor came into the contest as the Heavyweight Champion of Pride, a title which he had held for two and a half years at the time.  This was in the prime of Fedor’s legendary career, which saw him go unbeaten between the years 2000 and 2010, an accomplishment which has earned him the title of “best pound for pound fighter of all time” in the minds of many MMA fans.

Mirko Cro Cop had also earned a reputation as one of the top MMA fighters during that time.  He had torn up the Pride circuit with his fierce striking ability. Cro Cop had a great ability to attack his opponents with a flurry of quick and devastating punches, leaving a trail of mangled faces and bodies throughout the MMA scene. The two top fighters would finally meet in the ring in what became an instant classic MMA bout.

Fedor advanced on Cro Cop quickly in the first round of the fight, attempting to force him backward with a series of jabs. This plan almost backfired at one point as Cro Cop was able to land a number of punches and a kick which sent Fedor backwards and broke the champ’s nose.  However, Fedor was able to recover and kept advancing with his jab until he was able to bring Cro Cop down.

Once on the canvas, Fedor was able to pound away at Cro Cop and use his superior ground game. After the first round was complete, Fedor appeared to be calm and stoic as he sat in his corner. Cro Cop on the other hand, seemed to be exhausted and worn down from the pounding through which Fedor was able to put him.

The fight went three rounds before Fedor was declared the winner in a decision. It was a great fight which was highly anticipated by MMA fans and it lived up to all expectations. Fedor would continue with his unbeaten streak until the end of the decade.  He became widely regarded as the best fighter in all of MMA. Although he would lose three straight fights near the end of his tremendous career, Fedor would rebound to win his last three contests prior to his retirement.

Recently, Fedor and Cro Cop have been cutting one another up in the media. Fedor has stated that Cro Cop is no longer the great fighter he once was, and that something seems to have changed in him. Fedor feels Cro Cop just does not appear to have the same desire and confidence in the ring that he once did. Cro Cop has stated that he has lost some respect for Fedor since these comments. This will surely pass by with time and be forgotten — however, the fight the two had in the ring in 2005 will always be remembered by fans of Pride and mixed martial arts in general.

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