Brendan Schaub promised that his fight with Mirko Cro Cop wouldn’t go the distance, and though it took him until the closing stages of the third round, he delivered on that promise.
Schaub edged much of the first round, being a little more offensive with his striking, and gaining control during frequent spells in the clinch against the fence.
The most significant action coming from a well-timed takedown from Schaub mid-way through the round though, followed up by some solid ground and pound from inside Cro Cop’s guard. Eventually the Croatian managed to scramble back to his feet, and Cro Cop ended the round with a nice elbow from the clinch.
Early in the second round Cro Cop threw his infamous left head kick, but Schaub blocked and responded with a takedown. As he began to work his ground and pound again Cro Cop tried to scramble and threw an illegal upkick which forced a stand-up.
The rest of the round was spent back in the clinch against the fence with both men grappling for position while peppering each other with knees and short punches. A short elbow from Cro Cop did the most damage, bloodying up Schaub’s nose.
In the third the stand-up was looking relatively even, and Schaub smartly added in a couple of takedowns to get the round moving in his favor.
Cro Cop managed to get back to his feet on both occasions though and it looked as if the fight was heading to a decision.
Then Schaub threw a huge right hand that landed awkwardly, but ocked Cro Cop who collapsed to the canvas. He then followed it up with a big hammerfist before the referee dived in to save the dazed Croatian from further punishment.
It could easily have been registered as a KO with Cro Cop, but officially it goes down as a TKO with 3.44mins of the final round gone.
The defeat mirrors Cro Cop’s last fight with Frank Mir in which he was also finished in the closing stages of the third. Up until that point he had been giving a reasonable account of himself, though still not looking like the Cro Cop of old.
Meanwhile this was a solid display from Schaub, and he now has two big wins in a row to his name after having also beaten Gabriel Gonzaga last time out.