Last night during yet another entertaining Rizin Fighting Federation event, it was all but confirmed that on December 29 we will see a third fight between MMA legends Cro Cop and Wanderlei Silva.
December 29 is the date and it will be in the quarter-finals of the openweight grand-prix. Though not officially announced, it’s safe to assume this will be the main event on December 29.
This bout will take place over 10 years after their second meeting, and nearly 15 after the first. Both were very entertaining bouts. The feet meeting in 2002 saw the fight end in a draw due to a particular ruleset at the time, though without that ruleset, many believe Silva would have won. The second saw Cro Cop win via vicious KO using his patented left high-kick.
Mirko Cro Cop vs. Wanderlei Silva 3 – December 29, 2016
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipović (32-11-2, 1NC) is one of the most beloved MMA fighters of all time. This is primarily due to his highly aggressive style and his absolutely devastating kicks. Cro Cop returned to the UFC in April of 2015, where he earned Fight of the Night honors in his KO victory over Gabriel Gonzaga. He then breifly retired following a potential anti-doping violation before being released by the promotion. Shortly after he signed with Japanese promotion Rizin FF and debuted this morning, successfully mounting and submitting South Korea’s Myung. Though a submission was a surprise to some, Cro Cop publicly predicted exactly how the fight would play out accurately.
“The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1, 1NC) much like Cro Cop, is one of the most well-liked MMA fighters of all time due to his always aggressive style. Silva has not fought since March of 2013 where he returned to Japan, and as a light heavyweight, and earned Fight of the Night & Knockout of the Night honors vs. Brian Stann. After this bout, due to a refusal to submit drug tests prior to a fight with Chael Sonnen, Silva received a lifetime ban from the NSAC. This which was later reduced to a 3-year suspension in 2015. However, this ban will not hold back Wanderlei from competing in Indian Casinos or Japan. He has since signed with both Bellator MMA and RIZIN FF, where he will debut vs. Mirko Cro Cop in December.
No other bouts for the December 29 or the December 31 shows have been announced. The December 29 show will feature the quarter-finals of the openweight tournament. This includes those who won their 1st round match-ups last night. Those fighters being; Baruto Kaito, Jiří Procházka, Valentin Moldavsky, Amir Aliakbari, and Szymon Bajor.