2. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic
100 years from now, many of the top MMA fighters in the game will be forgotten about like past NFL and MLB stars have been. Hopefully, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and his left high kick will not be forgotten.
Filipovic’s isn’t just a legend of MMA, but a legend of combat sports. Before making his MMA debut back in 2001, Filipovic was a highly regarded kickboxer, who competed at K-1. After transitioning to MMA, he became an even bigger star.
The undersized heavyweight had quick hands, nice footwork, and stellar takedown defense. Despite the skills to compete at the highest level, Filipovic had a weapon that seemed almost like a cheat move in Mortal Combat or Street Fighter video game. The Croatian’s left high kick might be the most deadly strike in the sport’s history. Top talented fighters like Igor Vovchanchyn, Alexander Emelianenko, and Wanderlei Silva have all suffered defeat due to being hit with the left kick.
Besides those that lost via high kick, Filipovic holds wins over Kazuyuki Fujita (twice), Kazushi Sakuraba, Heath Herring, Ron Waterman, Josh Barnett (three times), Kevin Randleman, Mark Coleman, Ikuhisa Minowa, Hidehiko Yoshida, Pat Barry, Satoshi Ishii (twice), Gabriel Gonzaga, Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal, Tsuyoshi Kohsaka, and Roy Nelson.
While Filipovic wasn’t able to capture a UFC title during his tenure with the promotion, he is the only fighter that has won Grand Prix tournaments in Pride FC, K-1, and Rizin. He also was able to avenge upset losses to Randleman and Gonzaga.
While it appears Filipovic will be unable to continue his career due to health issues, he did win his last 10 fights in a row.