“I would like so much to see a bout between Nogueira and 'Cro Cop.' If it is not in August, it could be in September, October... They're two legends, two names. It really would be very interesting for the MMA world.” - Luis Dorea, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's boxing coach
Luis Dorea, the boxing instructor for Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira lit the fires for a potential Nogueira/Mirko Filipovic match at UFC 134, in an interview with TATAME. Dorea expressed his desire to see the two legendary heavyweights square off one more time at the historical event to held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Fighters Only Magazine recently reached out to the Croatian kickboxer to get his take on a potential fight with Nogueira.
“Yes I saw the comments made by Nogueira’s boxing coach and I agree," Cro Cop said. "I am ready to fight Nogueira any time, even in Brazil in August.”
The two heavyweights are nearing the end of their careers as they continue to be passed by the younger generation of fighters. Both Cro Cop and Nogueira became stars in mixed martial arts during their time with PrideFC. Cro Cop was world renowned for his left headkick knockouts and his punishing striking, while Nogueira was notorious for pulling submissions out of no where after taking a sustained beating.
Both men met for the Pride Interim Heavyweight title in 2003 to much fanfare. The bout saw Cro Cop punish Nogueira for a full round until Nogueira was able to latch on to an arm and finish with one of his patented submissions.
Even with the history of both fighters, fans have been quick to tell them to retire from the sport.
After nine years of accepting punishment and never being finished, Nogueira finally fell to Frank Mir via TKO. Nogueira claimed that a brutal staph infection had zapped him of his energy and stamina, forcing the bad performance. He would pick up another victory over Randy Couture before squaring off against Cain Velasquez at UFC 110. Velasquez looked much quicker than Nogueira and knocked him out cold in the first round.
That fight was in February of 2010. Nogueira hasn't fought since.
Mirko Cro Cop has lost two straight inside the Octagon. After a disappointing loss to Junior dos Santos, Cro Cop was able to reel off two straight victories over sub-par competition. Cro Cop looked old and hesitant in his fights with Anthony Perosh and Pat Barry, but he was still able to emerge victorious. The Croatian then took a fight with Frank Mir on short notice. The two managed to give fans one of the worst fights in a long time. Cro Cop was hesitant to commit on the feet in fear of getting dragged to the mat while Mir was reluctant to engage in fear of the almighty headkick.
Cro Cop vowed to return to the Octagon one more time. He was paired with up and comer Brendan Schaub at UFC 128. Cro Cop put forth one of his best efforts in quite some time. He had the younger Schaub bloody and in danger but it was simply not meant to be. Schaub was able to knock out Cro Cop in the third round. Afterwards UFC president Dana White mentioned that it was most likely the last time we would ever see Cro Cop in the UFC.
But what do you say? One last hurrah...