I initially spoke about this here about a month or so ago, but yesterday's performance against Alistair Overeem pretty much confirmed it. The fight ended in a 'no contest' so a rematch is probably in the works, but I really don't have the same interest as prior to yesterday's fight. Overeem did whatever he wanted to do with Cro Cop...strike with him...took him down and cut him with GnP, while Cro Cop managed very little offense.
Every since winning the PRIDE Open Weight GP in 2006...Cro Cop has seemed disinterested in fighting. His body language yesterday was telling as Overeem pretty much bullied him around the ring. Which is strange when you consider the build up to this fight. Overeem talked all kinds of shit and you would think something to that effect would pose some type of motivation for someone that's in a position similar to the Croatian. However, Cro Cop moved about the ring uninspired...just as he did in his UFC losses to Cheick Kongo and Gabriel Gonzaga.
"I'm angry it ended this way, it seemed as if he was the dominant one, however I wasn't in trouble for a second and was waiting for my opportunities. I prepared very well because i thought the match could last a while. I thought i would knock him down in the end."
The quote is taken from the post fight interview. I suppose he was waiting for Overeem to gas like the Dutchman has done in the past? I call bullshit, in that the only time Overeem has had stamina issues is when he was cutting weight to fight at 205 for the most part. Mirko simply doesn't have IT anymore, in that he lacks the aura that used to follow him as one of our sports most deadly strikers.
His opponents now understand that all they have to do is pressure him while avoiding the straight left punch and the left leg of his. If it goes to the ground all he does is attempt to nullify his opponents with wrist control while holding them in his guard without the threat of submissions. As I mentioned in the initial article...he simply hasn't evolved his game to be effective anymore. I'm as big of a fan as anyone, but it's clear that the game has passed him by at this point.