Mirko Cro Cop and Gabriela Gonzaga fought eight years ago. Today they rematched at UFC Fight Night 64 in Krakow, Poland – a UFC event wholly designed for the locals and whoever deigned to tune in to the Fight Pass-broadcast card. The lede: one old man TKO’d the other old man.
Neither of these guys have been relevant for many years, with the Croatian peaking somewhere around 2006. Yet here we are, in 2015, in a world where no other weight class but the heavyweights could possibly support the faded efforts of those well past their prime (Bellator’s Ancients’ division notwithstanding). But the best heavyweight in the world is constantly injured, and no one with under 100,000 miles of wear and tear on their body can come close to breaking into the realm of contendership – much less drum up enough interest to headline a card – so what’s old is new. Or at least, new enough to keep our interest.
It’s a keen razor’s edge they tread upon. Already we’ve lamented that Cro Cop has nothing left and should retire, and in a few months we’ll be saying the same about Frank Mir, Josh Barnett and all the rest of the big boys who were the top of the heap about a decade ago but are somehow still puttering along. And then they win, and we tell ourselves that it’s okay, maybe they have one more bout within them that could entertain us.
So relish today. The old man won, defeating the other old man in a bout that had no real impact on anything relating to champions and contenders and relevancy.
Who knows what sadness tomorrow may bring.