Today is Mirko Crocop’s birthday and while he’s only turned 38, his body has a helluva lot of mileage. 40 MMA bouts, 25 K-1 bouts, and who knows how many alphabet soup kickboxing organization matches on top of that. Muscles and tendons started to snap on him over half a decade ago, yet even with that and less than stellar performances to go by, Mirko continues to push for more fights. The latest rumor: that Mirko will be returning to MMA and fighting for ONE FC.
The story makes sense – ONE FC is doing well with a roster balanced between developing Asian talent and washed up journeymen with name value (sorry, Phil Baroni). It is also slightly terrifying if true. ONE runs under one of the scariest rulesets in the sport, with knees to grounded opponents and soccer kicks now legal 100% of the time. Only headstomps are outlawed … other than that it’s full on PRIDE style madness.
Sure, Mirko can still fight. Just not at the highest levels any more. If ONE wants to put him up against some cans, then that might be okay (and this is all assuming there’s any truth at all to the ONE rumors at all). If they put him up against some fresh young killers, it could be very bad news. Mirko getting soccer kicked in the face bad news.
(The video above is part of a series that features ‘Every single one of his strikes, sprawls, or throws’, and if you watch it through to part 2 and 3 after the jump you can witness age slowly draining Mirko of his speed and agility. As an old Croatian saying goes, getting old is like living next to Serbs – they eventually steal everything and leave you with nothing.)