In the second round, UFC analyst Joe Rogan likened the main event of UFC 119, pitting Frank Mir and Mirko Cro Cop, to a sparring session.
Rogan didnt have it quite right, as most sparring sessions you see have more energy, passion and violence than the Mir-CroCop bout featured, or at least, the vast majority of it. The pitiful, lumbering waltz was halted with one minute to go in the third, when the to-this-point very listless Mir clipped the to-that-point very, very listless CroCop with a knee, and put him out.
The former heavyweight champion Mir (age 31; 13-5 entering; living in Las Vegas ) was 252 pounds, while CroCop (age 36; 27-7-2 entering; from Coatia; ex Pride open weight champion) was 227 in the cage at the Conseco Fieldhouse.
CroCop stepped in for injured Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who pulled out with a bum knee six weeks ago.
In the first, Mir worked from closer in than maybe he usually does, to negate the Cro Cop kick advantage. Cro Cop kneed Mirs groin, and Mir got an unscheduled break. The first was not a barn burner, as each lefty spent a good amount of time in assessment mode. The judges had to see Mir pressing forward more, seeking to engage more eagerly.
In the second, the crowd hooted some. Ref Herb Dean once again called for the two to work, work as Mir had him pressed against the cage. Analyst Joe Rogan said the match had the feel of a sparring session after three minutes elapsed. More boos greeted the men with two minutes to go. Lets work, Dean repeated, again and again. Cro Cop was very scarce with the much vaunted leg work to this point. These guys both seem to be having too much fun, smiling at each other. The crowds not digging this at all, said Rogan, rightly.
Mir looked for a takedown, but was stymied. Its almost like a silent agreement to keep aggression to a minimum, Rogan said. Cro Cop let a stiff left go with 3:00 to go. The Mir pushed him up against the cage, and the men chatted. Not sure what they said. Then Mir dropped a bomb, an uppercut knee backing up, and it almost made up for the stankfest to that point. The victor helped the knee-strikes direction by pulling Cro Cops head down with his right hand, to his right knee. A left hand followed, and a right hand to the chin rendered a groggy loser ultra groggy, so much that he asked Mir afterwards what happened.