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Photo of the Day: Cro Cop and Ray Sefo Preparing for War

This weekend Cro Cop returns to Kickboxing and takes on another legend in the sport by the way of Ray Sefo. Cro Cop has softened a bit with age, and just always appears as an amiable guy, so it isn't uncommon to see him looking happy nowadays. Isn't that what is really important? There is also footage from the presser if you speak don't mind YouTube's auto-translations.

Sefo/Cro Cop


The Potential Impact Of "Cro Cop Final Fight"

Cro Cop Final Fight takes place this Saturday, March 10 in Zagreb, Croatia. Headlining the card is PRIDE, UFC and K-1 star Mirko Cro Cop, who returns to K-1 rules for the first time since he destroyed Bob Sapp on April 30, 2003. Cro Cop by all means is a superstar in his native Croatia and the upcoming Final Fight event is capturing eyes nationwide. As far as the impact of the event goes, it could be a big boost for the sport in Croatia and the rest of the Balkans or it could just be a big attraction that comes and goes.

The event will be held at the Zagreb Arena, a state of the art facility that can hold up to 24 000 people. The arena is almost sold out, and without a doubt, Cro Cop is who everyone is coming to see. All the major media outlets in Croatia are covering the event daily leading up to March 10, really showcasing the true magnitude of Cro Cop's stardom.

I think one of the important parts of this card is Cro Cop's stardom possibly rubbing off on all the other fighters on the card, specifically the Croatians. Aside from Cro Cop, there are seven Croatian fighters featured and most of them are pretty solid fighters in their own right. Igor Jurkovic, Mladen Brestovac, Mladen Kujundzic, Marin Dosen, Agron Preteni, Toni Milanovic and Ivan Posavec all will be representing Croatia in front of the attention of many. Jurkovic and Brestovac are probably the best out of the fighters I listed, especially Jurkovic who is seen as one of the up and coming heavyweights to look out for, holding an impressive stoppage victory over Pavel Zhuravlev.

This is being called Cro Cop's final fight, but I'm not sure I buy that. This doesn't seem to be a one time thing, being the first event promoted by Fight Channel. They were able to recruit a ton of talent, international and national and if I'm right about this not being Cro Cop's last fight then we could possibly see more events with Cro Cop headlining. If Cro Cop retiring after this fight is the case, it could be that the event generated enough interest in the sport and some of the Croatian fighters that Fight Channel continues to hold events on the back of Croatian fighters featured on Saturday's show. Either way, this doesn't seem to me like a one and done deal.

I'm optimistic about the impact that Saturday's event can have on the sport in Croatia and surrounding areas. Cro Cop brings so much to the table as the headliner and even if the other Croatian fighters on the card can get a speck of the attention that he will, it has some good potential for the future. The event is being covered and talked about so widely that a victory and a step forward for the sport is definitely obtainable.


Krush Announces -60kg Tournament Begninning April 22nd

Krush-EX vol. 1 and 2 are set to take place on April 22nd with vol.1 happening in the day and vol.2 happening at night. Krush has announced participants for the day show and the opening round of a 60kg tournament to determine current champ Hirotaka Urabe's next challenger.

For the afternoon portion of the show, Krush has announced that ISKA World Bantamweight champ Nobuchika Terado would participate in his first fight since his devastating KO loss to Krush 55kg champ Shota Takiya back in January. I expect a bounce-back fight for Terado as he is expected to defend his ISKA title sometime during the summer. Also announced for the afternoon portion are Haruya and Akari. Haruya fought at a Krush-EX event last year, scoring a KO win over WMAF Welterweight champ Ikki (not to be confused with former NJKF Lightweight champ Ikki) and most recently took a decision win at Big Bang 8. Female pro wrestler Akari will look to pick up her second straight win in Krush as she most recently defeated Mitsuhori "SMILE" Miyako back at Krush.15 in January.

For the night portion, the quarterfinals and semifinals of the 60kg tournament will take place on the 22nd while the finals are set for June 8th (likely Krush.19) and the title fight with Urabe will take place on July 21st (likely Krush.20). So far, only 4 participants have been announced and they are Junpei Aotsu, Yuta DYNAMITE, Yuya Fujii and Yuzo Suzuki.

Aotsu (18-8-2, 2 KO) is probably the most well-known of the group as he has faced the likes of Yuta Kubo, Masahiro Yamamoto, Masaaki Noiri, Akihiro Kuroda and TaCa, though he has failed to score a win against any of them. He went on a 4-fight skid at the end of 2010, but rebounded with 3 straight wins over Katsuya Goto, Turbo and fellow tournament participant Yuta DYNAMITE in 2011.

Yuta DYNAMITE (8-11-1, 6 KO), aka Yuta Takahashi, found great success in Krush in 2010 as he scored a decision win over Daizo Sasaki, then scored a major upset by KOing Daisuke Uematsu in the quarterfinals of the first Krush 60kg tournament. However, he followed that up by going 0-3 in 2011 with losses to Makoto Morishige and Junpei Aotsu in J-Network and a loss to Hirotaka Urabe in the semifinals of the Krush 60kg tourney.

Suzuki (3-0-1, 1 KO) is someone I see as a bit of a darkhorse in this current field. Despite only 4 pro fights, Suzuki has an extensive background in Kyokushin Karate, winning the All-Japan Juniors and adult tournaments in his weight class several times and taking 1st at the 2009 World Championships after a 2nd place finish in 2005. He made his Krush debut in February at Krush.16 with a decision win over Supernova Tournament participant Fumiya Osawa.

Fujii (9-1-3, 4 KO), who goes by just his given name Yuya, is the youngest of the group by 4 years, but has been active as a fighter since 2008 and was one of Masaaki Noiri's first opponents. He's fought most of his career for Nagoya Kick, but made his Krush debut at Krush.16 in February with a decision win over Takashi Nakajima.

Personally, I'd like to see Yuji Takeuchi, Masaaki Noiri, Yosuke Mizuochi and maybe even an outsider like Kosuke Komiyama, who has been clamoring for a fight with Urabe for about half a year now, added to beef up the tournament a bit. This is no knock against the announced participants, but I don't feel like any of them would be able to take out Urabe. Stay tuned to Liverkick for the announcement of the final four competitors when they are announced.{jcomments on}


"Cro Cop Final Fight" Available On Ustream PPV

Fight Now TV recently announced that they'd be showing Cro Cop Final Fight on March 10, live from Zagreb, Croatia. The stacked card is headlined by UFC, PRIDE and K-1 star Mirko Cro Cop and K-1 star Ray Sefo.

Fight Now TV said that they would offer an online PPV on Ustream and now the online PPV is available to purchase. Fight Now TV has set up the PPV on their Ustream channel, where it can be purchased for $24.95. I think it's well worth the price for such a stacked card. It starts at 1 PM EST/10 AM PST in North America. Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover are the available methods of payment. You can buy the online PPV here.

Full fight card:

Mirko Cro Cop vs. Ray Sefo

Daniel Ghita vs. Sergei Lascenko

Igor Jurkovic vs. Freddy Kemayo

Dzevad Poturak vs. Ismael Londt

Mladen Brestovac vs. Mourad Bouzidi

Mladen Kujundziv vs. Marin Dosen

Agron Preteni vs. Pacome Assi

Sahak Parparyan vs. Toni Milanovic

Ivan Posavec vs. Miran Fabjan


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