Mirko Cro Cop didn't come out to Duran Duran, instead he came out to Ennio Morricone's classic L'estasi Dell'Oro [The Ecstasy of Gold] from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. To many this shows signs of change and for a night of PRIDE NEVER DIE, an ominous sign.
Brendan Schaub is a large, scary dude who looks to have a bright future ahead of him. He clinched Cro Cop against the cage and was broken by Herb Dean for a possible rabbit punch. This just led to a takedown by Schaub. Cro Cop was actually able to sweep him and get back to his feet, but more clinch work from Schaub just exposes what we already know; Cro Cop hates getting clinched.
The second round sees a lot of the same, Cro Cop seems to be afraid of throwing meaningful strikes and his inability to clinch has haunted his UFC career. He throws a left high kick that Schaub was able to avoid and use to take Cro Cop down. The remainder of the round was Goldberg discussing Jon Jones and lots of clinching. Cro Cop actually uses a few close elbows to get some blood out of Schaub before Schaub once again rabbit punches Mirko and loses a point. That might actually even up the fight or put Cro Cop in the lead as he landed the best shots in that round.
The third round starts off with a left inside leg kick from Cro Cop that like a heat seeking missle connects with Schaub's cup. Left leg ball breaker, right leg vasectomy. Schaub after he recovers takes Cro Cop down, Cro Cop pushes him off and gets immediately taken down again with a diving tackle. For some odd reason Shaub lets him get back up and Cro Cop is able to stuff a takedown. It looked good for Cro Cop and then Brendan Schaub lands a crazy right hook behind the ear of Cro Cop sending him flying, head bouncing off the mat.
We love Cro Cop, but it is that time.