What a ride it's been.
Sixteen years to the day since his K-1 debut against Jerome Le Banner, Croatia's most brutal export, Mirko Filipovic, will step into the ring for the final time today (March 10, 2012) in his home country, taking on fellow legend "Sugarfoot" Ray Sefo in the former's first kickboxing bout in almost nine years.
It will also likely be his last.
In addition, newly-minted "It's Showtime" heavyweight champion Daniel Ghita will take on Sergei Lascenko in a rematch of their 2009 bout, which saw Ghita stop Lascenko in the first via leg kicks. Veterans Freddy Kemayo and Dzevad Poturak will also be in action.
MMAmania will have LIVE coverage of the event, starting with the live Fight Now TV broadcast online at 1 p.m. ET from the Arena Zagreb in Zagreb, Croatia.
Check out our complete "Final Fight: Cro Cop vs. Sefo" quick results and live play-by-play after the jump, which will go from the bottom-up:
Mirko Filipovic def. Ray Sefo by unanimous decision
Igor Jurkovic def. Freddy Kemayo by majority decision (ext. round)
Daniel Ghita def. Sergei Lascenko by 3R TKO (head kick)
Mladen Brestovac def. Mourad Bouzidi by 1R TKO (head kick)
Dzevad Poturak vs. Ismael Londt
Mladen Kujundsic def. Marin Dosen by unanimous decision (ext. round)
Agron Petreni def. Guy Pacome Assi by majority decisionMichael Duut def. Stefan Jelicv by unanimous decision
Sahak Parparyan def. Toni Milanovic by decision
Miran Fabjan def. Ivan Posavec by decision
Mirko Filipovic vs. Ray Sefo:
Round One: Oh bloody hell I’m terrified.
Nice right hand from Cro Cop in the early going. There’s something wrong with part of the ring, but after a brief rest, they’re back in action. First LHK of the night is blocked, Sefo slightly stumbles Mirko with retaliatory punches. Nice counter right by Sefo. Hard uppercut inside from Ray. Cro Cop connects with a left straight and manages to force Sefo back, but Sefo clonces and they reset. Cro Cop goes for a clinch knee and slips. Hard uppercuts from Sefo in the clinch. Nice lefts from Mirko and they clinch up once again. Good push kick from Sefo at the bell. Close round, but I’ve got it 10-9 Cro Cop.
Round Two: Nice left from Mirko right off the bat, then flurries nicely before they clinch. Second LHK of the night blocked. Nice short uppercut by Ray. Clinching. Nice right hands from Sefo, who now has Cro Cop retreating but doesn’t seem to be moving that well. Cro Cop catches a kick and sweeps Ray to the ground. Both guys land with their power hands. Cro Cop bullies Sefo into the corner again, Sefo talking some smack as he does. Surprisingly few low or middle kicks from Mirko; don’t think I’ve seen any, actually. Sefo turns his back and stumbles to the corner without being punched. Another clinch. Not the most entertaining round, but the crowd loves it. Cro Cop 10-9 once again.
Round Three: Watching the referee impotently trying to get them to stop clinching is hilarious. Sefo mean mugging, but gets thumped hard in the body by a left hand. Nice uppercut from Mirko, Ray responds in kind. Clinch. Once again. Sefo lands a big right but Mirko takes it well. Cro cop explodes against the ropes at Sefo’s insistence, landing a series of hard blow. They reset in the center; Mirko catches another kick but doesn’t get the sweep. Clinch, knee to the body from Mirko and a low kick. Left straight lands for Cro Cop. Another clinch, Mirko misses a knee. Cro Cop swinging hard at the bell. Poor effort from Sefo, but Cro Cop did well. He should take this one unanimously.
Final Result: Filipovic def. Sefo by unanimous decision
Igor Jurkovic vs. Freddy Kemayo
Round One: Kemayo, you’re going to have to do something awesome to get me to stop associating you with those vicious KO losses to Saki and Silva.
One-two from Igor blocked, then he lands a bog body shot. Very aggressive in the early going is the southpaw Igor, who’s looking for the power uppercut to the body. Good knee from Igor kicks off a solid combination. Kemayo doesn’t look comfortable in there. Igor swinging big with hooks whenever Freddy tries to attack; he drops his right when he hurls his left, though, and that may be a problem. Kemayo clips him with a head kick and looked to have him on the ropes, but Igor goes right back to swinging. Now Igor is caught in the corner, but Freddy can’t capitalize. Nice leg kick-uppercut combination from Igot; gonna have to try that sometime. Heavy exchange at the end, with Freddy getting the better slightly. Overall, though, 10-9 Igor. Great first round.
Round Two: Igor pressuring with punches. They reset in the center; pace looks to have slowed. Nice body punch from Igor, who then has a head kick blocked. Body kick from Freddy. Thumping right to the body from Igor and the two continue to exchange kicks to the legs and body. Nice short uppercut from Igor, who is caught by an overhand right and very nearly eats a big knee. He comes back with some good shots to the body and Freddy connects with a solid clinch knee. Punch combo and head kick blocked from Igor, who lands a nice body shot at the bell. Really good fight so far; I've got it even.
Round Three: They go right to work in a crazy flurry; looks like Freddy got the better of it slightly. Igor backpedalling. Freddy thumps him to the leg and lands a hard right against the ropes. Freddy’s left high kick looks just inches from taking Igor’s head off. Big right hand from Freddy, who is unloading on Igor in the corner. Igor escapes, but gets his back pressed against the ropes immediately. Igor is firing back and landing well to the leg and body, but Freddy is dictating this bout. A cornered Igor eats a few knees and punches. Excellent exchange to end the round; very good fight, 29-28 Kemayo.
Round Four: Extension round, it seems. Let’s do this.
Freddy attacking the legs and body while Igot looks for punches to the dome. Body kick from Freddy connects. Igor not on the attack and lands a good leg kick before Freddy fires back with a hard one of his own. Nice back-and-forth affair here in the fourth. Lead uppercut lands for Igor. Kemayo lands a good right to the head and the two start trading leg kicks across the right. Neither fighter landing clean as they exchange. Igor swinging hard at the end of the round as they continue trading leg kicks. Very, very close final round, but I’m going to give it to Igor.
Final Result: Jurkovic def. Kemayo via majority decision
Daniel Ghita vs. Sergei Lascenko
Round One: Hope Lascenko went jogging beforehand; last time he’ll be able to do it for a while.
Nice right from Lascenko early. Ghita with a tight guard, blocking most of what Sergei throws at him. Hard right hand from Sergei andthen a hard four-punch combo; he looks like he’s zeroed in on Ghita’s leg kick. Another nice combo from Lascenko. Ghita now starting to connect with kicks to the body. BRUTAL kick to the solar plexus from Ghita sends Lascenko down, but he’s back up and ready to go. Ghita trying to hit the same spot again while Lascenko tries to hit him as he kicks. Lascenko flurrying hard every time Ghita’s hands go down, but he’s more tentative now that he’s been down. Nice round; 10-8 Ghita.
Round Two: Ghita seems to be blocking Lascenko’s punches much better this round; looks like he’s found his groove. Glancing head kick from Ghita, then another with the other leg; both landed with the foot. Ghita looks a lot looser now. Flurry from Lascenko, nothing connects. Ghita timing the body and leg kicks whenever Sergei punches in a nice reversal of the first round. Nice jab and low kick from Ghita answer a hard Lascenko right. Lascenko flurries with Ghita against the ropes and Ghita asks him to bring it. ANOTHER head kick on the foot. The right side of Lascenko’s body is one big welt at this point; 10-9 Ghita.
Round Three: Nasty body kick from Ghita; a large portion of Sergei’s torso is a lovely shade of pink. BIG head kick from Ghita finally lands flush and puts Lascenko down for the second time tonight. Lascenko gets up, but the referee calls it. Probably an early stoppage, but Lascenko was getting his butt handed to him. Nasty kick, nasty knockout, excellent fight by the It’s Showtime champ.
Final Result: Ghita def. Lascenko by TKO (head kick)
Mladen Brestovac vs. Mourad Bouzidi
Round One: Mourad the smaller man here by a fair margin. Regardless, the two swing heavy leather in the early going before a big Mladen head kick arcs around Mourad’s head and thumps him directly in the back of the head, sending him to the canvas. Definitely unintentional; Mourad slipped slightly and turned such that the back of his dome was right in the way. It’s a fair hit in this case, and that’s a knockout win for Mladen Brestovac.
Final Result: Brestovac def. Bouzidi by TKO (head kick)
Dzevad Poturak vs. Ismael Londt
Mladen Kujundsic vs. Marin Dosen
Round One: Man, Marin has a weirdly-shaped body.
Anyway, circling early. Blocked kicks by both men. Marin pawing with the jab, has a one-two blocked. Mladen tries to bully his way in, but everything is blocked. Nice left hook from Mladen. Aaaaaand stream dies again and picks up afterwards. I get a slideshow of the last minute or so, enough to see that nobody got the advantage. Boring round. 10-10.
Round Two: Nice body kick from Marin, then a couple of leg kicks by his foe. Blocked high kick from Marin. Mladen barreling inside with punches, but not landing clean. Marin lands a right and a low kick. Clinch in the center. Glancing left hook from Mladen. Marin walking Mladen down at the end. Slightly more exciting round, but still pretty meh. 10-9 Marin.
Round Three: Mladen rushes in and eats a right for his trouble. High kick from Marin is blocked. Marin has his opponent on the retreat but isn’t throwing. Wild swings for Mladen whiff badly. Short body shot courtesy of Marin, then a nicer counter right as Mladen tries to bull rush in. Couple of punches land inside for Marin, then a nice body shot on a retreating Mladen. Mladen finally lands a glancing right, but there is no discernible effect. Flurries from both men to end the round. Really mediocre fight, one that should be scored in Marin’s favor.
Round four: They’re going to an extension round, it seems.
Marin pressing forward while Mladen chips away with leg and body kicks. Wild left hand connects for Mladen but doesn’t seem to faze his taller opponent. Clinch. Flying knee and high kick from Mladen fail to connect and he eats a hard jab for his troubles. Nice one-two-one by Marin, who seems more comfortable with his punching. Another wild right from Mladen connects. Body kick from Marin in the waning seconds, and then they clinch until the end. I’d give that one to Mladen.
Final Result: Kujundsic def. Dosen by unanimous decision
Agron Petreni vs. Guy Pacome Assi
Round One: Quick low kicks early from Petreni, then a quick combo. Uppercut lands for Assi, who is rocking the lime-green footwraps. Good little combo from Assi, who then eats a better one capped off by a push kick. Petreni rips to the body with hands, later with legs. High kick from Assi blocked, he then eats a body kick. Another good body kick from Petreni. Hard hook lands for Assi. Nice flurry from Petreni, capped off by a low kick. Again. Nice hook from Petreni, who gets whacked in the body by Assi just before the bell. Good round; Petreni looked to have landed the better shots. 10-9 same.
Round Two: Both men attacking below the neck. Body kick from Petreni leads into a good flurry. Good low kick from Petreni, who is doing an excellent job finishing his combos with them. Nice shots to the body from Petreni. Assi now has his opponent backing up, but doesn’t land anything significant aside from a decent uppercut. Technical difficulties arise with a minute left in the round, please stand by...
Round Three: Stream conked out; sorry.
Final Result: Petreni def. Assi by majority decision
Stefan Jelicv vs. Michael Duut
Round One: Stefan on the attack early with punches and low kicks, Duut hunting for the counter. Duut looks the faster of the two. Good low kick from Stefan, who gets whacked in the body. He lands a good uppercut but gets slammed with a counter hook and stumbles enough for the ref to call a knockdown. Duut swinging for the fences now and has Stefan against the ropes. They reset. Stefan still trying to work the low kicks but Duut is relentless with punches. Jumping knee misses for Duut, punches don’t. Duut thumps to the body and head with big hooks with Stefan against the ropes. Stefan gets some relief when an inside low kick drops Duut and forces them to reset. There’s the bell; dominant round from Duut; 10-8 same.
Round Two: Stefan on the attack in the early going, but Duut responds with a flurry and has him backpedalling again. Duut just RIPS to the body with a left hand. Spinning backfist misses for Stefan, who just seems way too stiff in there. Good low kick from Duut, go eats a counter right. Inside low kick and push kick for Duut. Stefan lands a couple of low kicks and a couple decent jabs. Another spinning backfist attempt from Stefan; definitely a better round for him, but Duut landed the more telling blow. Stefan needs a knockout to win this.
Round Three: Quick exchange early on with no telling blows. Slow leg kicks for Stefan, who gets thumped with a counter hook after backing Duut against the ropes. Duut catches a kick and tries to land a hook. Step-in knee fails from Duut. Nice uppercut from Duut. Stefan shuffling forward and landing the occasional low kick, but gets backed into the ropes again and hit with a good flurry. Low kicks from both men. Better low kick from Duut, then a nice punching combo capped off with a low kick. Slow final round, but one in Duut’s favor. Should be a clear-cut decision for him.
Final Result: Duut def. Jelicv by unananimous decision
Toni Milanovic vs. Sahak Parparyan
Round One: Finally found a working stream and missed the introductions; since the stream is in Croatian, I have no idea which guy is which. One’s in black shorts, one in red.
Low kick from red shorts early on. Low kick from black shorts. Nice jab and one-two from red shorts. Nice flurry by black shorts in response to an inside low kick. Tentative trading in the center; nice body shot from red shorts. Body kick from red shorts. Heavy flurry from black shorts, who gets stung by a left hook. Big right hand by black shorts. Nice counter left from red shorts, who comes up short with an uppercut. That’s the end of the round; very close, but I’m going to give it to red shorts, 10-9.
Round Two: Black shorts goes low then high with kicks, but nothing. Nice body shot and big overhand right; he’s got red shorts retreating, but red shorts pulls himself back together. Nice body shot from black shorts. Good body punch from Red shorts, who is forced back by a flurry before flinging a spinning backfist and going on the attack. Oh, they’re scrapping right now; momentum seems to be shifting to red shorts. Hard body shot and low kick from black shorts against the ropes. Heavy swings at the end of an excellent round, one I’m going to give to black shorts. All tied up.
Round Three: I’m about 80% sure Parparyan is in the red, but I will continue with my current notation for the sake of consistency. Low kick and one-two from black shorts, who is the clear aggressor here. Missed knee from red shorts wasn’t even close, but a good low kick was. Nice body shot from black shorts, red shorts chops the legs. More good body work from black shorts. Right hand by black shorts connects, as does a subsequent flurry. Another good right hand; red shorts misses a spinning backfist, his most significant non-leg-kick output of the round. He then gets caught will all three punches of a combo. Good left hook for black shorts and a right hand. Clear round for black shorts, so it’ll all come down to how they scored the second. In any case, 29-28 black shorts on my card.
Alright, it turns out Parparyan was in the black. My bad.
Final Result: Parparyan def. Milanovic by decision
Ivan Posavec vs. Miran Fabjan
Round One: Stream problems; nothing for this fight, sorry.
Final Result: Fabjan def. Posavec via decision