Mirko Cro Cop vs. Anthony Perosh
It was nice of the UFC to give local Aussie Perosh a shot on the main card, but they didn’t do him much of a favor. Perosh, an Australian of Croatian decent, had to face the Croatian legend headhunter Mirko Cro Cop as a late replacement due to injury. The slim chance for Perosh was to somehow get his idol down on the mat and use his Jiu-Jitsu black belt training to submit him. To do that however he needed to evade the strikes and powerful kicks that made the Croatian policeman a legend in the early days of MMA. He also had a legend that had been beaten down in a few recent fights and had re-dedicated himself recently. Bad timing.
Cro Cop started the fight with absolutely no respect for Perosh, wading in punching and kicking at will. After tagging him with a couple of stiff left hands that dropped the Aussie and avoiding a takedown attempt, it was clear how this fight was going to go. Perosh backed up enough to survive the first round although his nose wasn’t as lucky.
The second round saw more of the same with Perosh assuming the turtle position covering his ears whenever he missed on a takedown attempt, which was every single time. Cro Cop actually got so frustrated he finally jumped into Perosh’s guard to deliver some ground and pound, something few fans had seen in years out of the Croatian kick boxer. His very first elbow cut Perosh wide open above the left eye and Herb Dean, with the doctor saying to stop the fight, decided to ask Perosh if he wanted to keep fighting. Of course the guy wasn’t going to quit in front of 16,000 screaming Australians! He’d have to move off the continent to find any peace if he quit like that!
Thankfully the doctor stepped in at the end of the round and stopped it. There wasn’t any hope for Perosh and the doctor understood there was little point to another round of punishment. Mirko had some nice words for his fellow Croatian/Aussie fighter at the end and thanked him for stepping up to face him. Not much of a fight really and I was left wondering if the UFC isn’t having trouble finding decent injury replacements because they put on so many fight cards every year. No doubt Cro Cop was a little embarrassed by the UFC’s choice of replacement given his status in the sport and Perosh’s lack thereof.