Cro Cop

“[Dos Santos] is a lion, one of the emerging stars along with Cain Velasquez, who is foremost. I know that because of training with Minotaur [Nogueira], that he is a very good boxer and a great grappler. I saw his knockout against Werdum and his last fight, in which he also got the knockout. Overall, he is a great fighter, never to be underestimated. However, I expect victory…I’m gonna take it fight by fight, but the belt is my goal. My second fight [of this UFC contract] should happen around the New Year, but we will see how I’ll be after Dos Santos. There’s an event 4th of January, so maybe then hopefully I could again be in the ring. I do not know, I’m going to do this fight and then see what is next in line…I’m wasn’t expecting anything [from Mir-Lesnar 2], but I must point out that his victory is a defeat for the sport as such. Don’t get me wrong, Lesnar is a fearsome and very dangerous opponent, but I am old school, I prefer skill and technique. This win was a defeat of martial skills. Much of what he achieved in the fight is a result of pure power… Of course, Lesnar has quality sparring partners, is an experienced wrestler and a man who learns very quickly. But he is yet to have a real struggle. He does not have many fights in his career and I would love to see how he would react to two or three good low kicks…The leg and knee are great. All better and better, and I believe that it will no longer be an issue.”

—Mirko “Cro Cop” in a lengthy interview with, translation via Fighters Only, talking about his next opponent Junior dos Santos and commenting on the UFC Heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar

Good to see that Mirko isn’t looking past dos Santos. As accomplished at Cro Cop is, it’d be easy for him to assume he’d walk right through the up-and coming dos Santos, but it sounds like Mirko has learned from his past mistakes. Should be a great fight.

As for Lesnar, I’d love to see how he’d fare against a high-level striker like Cro Cop. So far, we’ve seen Lesnar fight two wrestling guys (kinda lumping Herring into this category) and a jiu-jitsu guy, but not a striker. Call me crazy, but I think Cro Cop would have a chance if the Mirko who beat Mark Coleman showed up. Obviously, Lesnar is bigger, faster and more explosive than Coleman was, but Cro Cop’s takedown defense was incredible in that fight. I don’t know if it was good enough to stop Lesnar, but if it was, and he maintained his distance and capitalized on the holes Brock leaves in his defense with his speed and precision, I could see Mirko pulling off the upset. Imagine how nuts the crowd would go if Cro Cop chopped Lesnar down like a tree with leg kicks and knocked him out with a left high kick. They would blow the roof right off the arena. Yeah, probably wouldn’t happen, but hey, I can dream, can’t I?