It was like Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic magically appeared out of nowhere in the third round.
Cro Cop secured a surprising TKO finish of rival Gabriel Gonzaga, in the main event of UFC Krakow.
The main card was full of upsets however. Crop Cop and Gonzaga scored Fight-of-the-Night, with Leon Edwards and Maryna Moroz scoring performances of the night.
Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
MMA Crossfire’s Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the main card.
JOANNE “JOJO” CALDERWOOD VS MARYNA “THE IRON WOMAN” MOROZ
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JOANNE CALDERWOOD VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
WINNER: MARYNA MOROZ VIA 1ST ROUND ARMBAR SUBMISSION
Andrews: As I mentioned, Calderwood needed to keep the fight on standing, but the plucky Iron Woman secured the armbar like in her other fights and caught JoJo. A great win for her and there were no UFC jitters to speak of. This is a loss that should spark Joanne to continue to considerably improve her ground game.
PAWEL PAWLAK VS SHELDON WESTCOTT
ANDREWS PREDICTION: SHELDON WESTCOTT VIA TKO
WINNER: PAWEL PAWLAK VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28,29-28,29-28)
Andrews: Give Pawlak credit for outworking Westcott. It’s deja vu again for the Alberta native.
JIMI MANUWA VS JAN BLACHOWICZ
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JAN BLACHOWICZ VIA TKO
WINNER: JIMI MANUWA VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Andrews: I really thought Blachowicz would use his strikes but it turns out Manuwa learned quite a bit in fighting top-ranked light-heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson. Give him full marks for applying it here.
GABRIEL GONZAGA VS MIRKO “CRO COP” FILIPOVIC
ANDREWS PREDICTION: GABRIEL GONZAGA VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
WINNER: MIRKO CRO COP FILIPOVIC VIA TKO
Andrews: This is indeed Cro Cop’s moment. But for awhile, it looked like Gonzaga was going to cruise to a decision win like I thought. But anything can happen and a transformation happened in the third round where the Cro Cop of 2005 replaced the previous passive one and unloaded a quick and tidy tempest of violence that should satisfy Cro Cop fans and help replace of memory of Gonzaga’s previous win. An excellent win for Cro Cop, but where does he go from here?