Where’s Cro Cop Now?
According to an article I found on the XFA website, Mirko Cro Cop will be facing Ralek Gracie, a black belt in brazilian jiu-jitsu, in a special rules grappling match on June 15’s DREAM 4 card in Japan.
Originally slated to face Jerome LeBanner in an MMA-rules fight at DREAM.4, a minor leg injury supposedly pushed the bout back to DREAM.5 on July 20. There is no update on the injury and the exact status of the originally scheduled fight was not addressed. Newby’s report states the LeBanner fight is postponed but does not give a definite date for the fight. Gracie has not fought since July ‘07 against Katsuyori Shibata, last seen as the straight man on the Mayhem Miller Show at DREAM.3.
The fight will be with ADCC rules for two five-minute rounds but without the points system. This seems to be the only concession given to Cro Cop against the much more technical Gracie. The match must end with a submission or else it will be called a draw.
Cro Cop agreeing to a grappling match with a Gracie seems a little dangerous. The Croatian heavyweight is notorious for a ground game that is generously called serviceable and Ralek Gracie is typical of his lineage on the mat. Without kicks and punches, I think Cro Cop may have his work cut out for him.