The 35-year-old Cro Cop, a legend who's past his prime, came back from an ugly first round against Pat Barry at UFC 115 on Saturday night to hurt Barry in the second and choke him out in the third, giving Cro Cop his best victory in the UFC.
Barry knocked Cro Cop down with a hard right hand just half a minute into the first round, then landed several leg kicks before knocking Cro Cop down again with another punch about 90 seconds later. After that second punch landed, the left side of Cro Cop's face began to bruise and swell. It was clear in the early going that the younger Barry was faster than Cro Cop in the stand up, and late in the first round Barry began to stick his chin out in front of Cro Cop, practically begging Cro Cop to throw a punch.
In the second round, however, Cro Cop started to look more confident, and when this match-up of kickboxers went to the ground, the more experienced Cro Cop controlled it, getting on top of Barry, mounting him and then getting his back. Cro Cop wasn't able to come close to submitting Barry, but he definitely deserved to win the second round.
And then in the third Cro Cop did something extraordinary: He simply landed punch after punch after punch to Barry's head, eventually getting Barry down, getting on his back and sinking in a rear-naked choke that forced Barry to tap. Cro Cop may never be one of the sport's truly elite heavyweights again, but he showed against Barry that he still has the spirit of a fighter.
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