6. Gabriel Gonzaga Over Cro Cop
Many expected a head kick-induced knockout in the number one contender matchup between Mirko “Cro Cop” Filopovic and Gabriel Gonzaga, and that is just what they got.
“Cro Cop” was entering his sophomore UFC effort as one of the most fearsome heavyweights in history. His combination of lightning fast sprawl and lethal head kicks made him an entertaining and devastating foe. Even his catchphrase was intimidating: “Right leg, hospital; left leg, cemetery.”
His opponent was the relatively unheralded Gonzaga, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion. “Napao” was 3-0 in the UFC with three stoppages, but he had nowhere near the pedigree of his Croatian opponent, who had terrorized Pride for years.
But when the two met at UFC 70 in April 2007, Gonzaga turned “Cro Cop’s” trademark move against him. As the first round came to a close and Filipovic moved in for a final flurry to punctate the frame, he was met by the Brazilian’s shin. He collapsed to the canvas, unconscious even before he hit the deck, his leg grotesquely folded beneath him.
Gonzaga’s unlikely run to the top of the heavyweight division was complete, and “Cro Cop” never would compete for a UFC title. If you enjoyed this story, please share it on social media!