42-year-old Mirko “CRO COP” filipović (Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic) and 40-year-old Fedor Emelianenko will remain in the focus of attention of fans of mixed martial arts. The legendary Croatian heavyweight Mirko Filipovic in December last year, won in the international tournament on the mixed single combats in Japan Rizin World Grand Prix 2016 and has announced his retirement from professional sports. Russian sportsman Fedor Emelianenko, whom many consider the best fighter of all time, has announced the end of his career, but returned and is now preparing to enter the ring in the US, where the 18 February will be his showdown with American Matt Mitrione (Matt Mitrione) as part of the Bellator tournament 172.
The aforementioned legends of world sports met for the first time in the ring in his youth. This occurred on 28 August 2005 at the tournament organised by Japanese company PRIDE, which later went bankrupt. Victory in this fight was unanimously awarded to Emelianenko. This was such a surprise that the American sports weekly Sports Illustrated named this event the best fight of the first decade of the XXI century. For ten years after this incident, the names of both soldiers were often mentioned when discussing a possible rematch, which has not yet been made but will be held later in his career “CRO COP.”
Former President of PRIDE, created in 2015 a new organization Rizin Fighting Federation, invited the Croats to participate in the tournament Rizin World Grand Prix 2016 to revive the memory of former battles. Mirko Filipovich had to fight with another legendary fighter of the mixed style — Brazilian Wanderlei Silva (Wanderlei Silva), but due to injury he had to change the opponent. American Muhammed “king Mo” Lawal (Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal) was considered a favorite, but “CRO COP” knocked it out. The next day he won the knockout of the Estonian wrestler, Baruto Kaito (Kaito Baruto) and Iranian Amir, Aliakbari (Amir Aliakbari), won the championship and received around 300 thousand dollars.
“It was my last tournament. I have already announced his departure, but now it’s a final decision. I’m not the same that before,” — said after the victory “CRO COP” in an interview with Croatian television. According to him, he has severe pain in the knee after training and it became unbearable. “It makes no sense to continue,” said the heavyweight, with the possibility of holding a farewell fight. “I would, but only if I can restore the knee… And it’s unlikely,” he added.
Fedor Emelianenko, as mentioned above, many consider the best fighter of all time. “The last Emperor” has retired from the sport in 2012, and in 2015 returned, agreeing to participate in the tournament Rizin. His opponent was an athlete from India Jaideep Singh (Jaideep Singh), the victory over which was given to Frank easily. The last fight he had in June 2016 in St. Petersburg, he met in the ring with the Brazilian Fabio Maldonado (Fabio Maldonado).
A controversial decision taken by the majority of votes awarded the victory of the Russian athlete. Despite a fairly weak performance, Emelianenko has once again demonstrated its unique style: a deliberately careless with the use of the front rack.
But if nobody dares to question the professionalism of the Russian athlete, a number of scholars do not agree with all his titles. First, the rating Emelianenko (34 wins, 4 losses and one fight is declared as not held) quite controversial when you consider the places which hosted the tournaments.
For example, in the U.S. it won four matches and lost three. Second, Emelianenko has never participated in the US Championships mixed martial arts UFC, an organization whose members theoretically should be all titled athletes. After his return to the sport he performed twice in Japan and twice in Russia.
Now he has the opportunity to step into the ring, where it hovers around the most doubt.
Fans hoping someday to see a fight-a rematch between the two giants of mixed martial arts, but only time, the results of the upcoming game and the health of each of the athletes will show whether it is feasible.