Mixed martial arts (MMA) elder statesman and former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Mirko Filipovic returned to the combat sports arena on Sunday (Sept. 25, 2016) with a first-round submission win over international warm body Hyun Man Myung.
That probably wasn't the outcome most fans in attendance (or streaming at home) were expecting to see when "Cro Cop" was announced for the RIZIN World Grand Prix Tournament, held inside the legendary Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
But he pretty much played the hand he was dealt.
Myung came in hot, trying to bully the former PRIDE superstar by pushing him into the ropes. Unfortunately, the South Korean underestimated Filipovic's grappling and the Croat was able to reverse position and land some nasty ground-and-pound before locking up the arm-triangle choke.
Following the victory, Cro Cop (32-11-2, 1 NC) proceeded to call out Wanderlei Silva, also a part of the open-weight tourney (but who earned a first-round bye) for round two on Dec. 29 in Japan. That was pretty much the plan all along, but Filipovic first had to win on Sunday.
Hopefully Wandy can make it that long without getting into another "Krazy Horse" fight.
Filipovic and Silva first went to war under the PRIDE banner, fighting to a draw way back in 2002. They would run it back roughly four years later when "The Axe Murderer" succumbed to a first-round head kick. It should be noted their combined age is 82.
For complete RIZIN results click here.