Cro Cop won his last seven fights, including two in one night on Dec. 31, 2016, to capture the Rizin Open-Weight Grand Prix championship. After winning the Grand Prix, Cro Cop called it quits, but left the door cracked open for a finale.
“The only option remains some farewell fight, but this is only if I rehabilitate my knee,” he said. “I never want to go through what I went through during the preparation for this tournament. I know that I have often said I am ending my career, but this is really the end.”
It appears the fight that he wants to finish on is a rematch with Fedor, who is currently under contract with Bellator, a promotion that works well with Rizin.
Although Cro Cop struck early in his first fight with Fedor, breaking his nose, Fedor turned the tide, taking Cro Cop down on several occasions and ground-and-pounding his way to a unanimous decision victory. That was at Pride Final Conflict in 2005. Now, more than 10 years later, Cro Cop wants another shot at the former Pride heavyweight champion.
Whether he will get it or not is another story, although it’s the type of fight that Rizin and Bellator appear more than willing to make, as witnessed by Bellator’s upcoming return to pay-per-view, which is headlined by Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva and Fedor vs. Matt Mitrione.
Who wants to see my farewell fight against Fedor?If Fedor dares..