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A Closer Look At The Main Card For UFC Fight Night: Gonzaga vs. Cro Cop II

Posted by on 3/23/2016 5:36:59 AM

It was nearly a decade ago that Gabriel Gonzaga ended Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic’s bid for the UFC Heavyweight title with a kick to the head that knocked him out cold and eliminated him from contention for a shot at the championship. Fast-forward eight years from that memorable matchup at UFC 70 and now Gonzaga and Cro Cop are set to clash again as the UFC makes its way to Krakow, Poland for its latest UFC Fight Night event. Here is a quick look at the four bouts on the main card for UFC Fight Night: Gonzaga vs. Cro Cop II.

Heavyweight Bout

(16-9-0) Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Mirko Filipovic (30-11-2)

The fans in Poland have been waiting a long time to finally see the UFC live and up close and the history behind this rematch will only add to the anticipation. The problem is that Filipovic isn’t the same fighter he was back then and while Gonzaga isn’t either he is still younger and in the better shape of the two. Cro Cop is coming off consecutive wins in a lesser promotion but it’s hard not to remember his losses to Frank Mir, Brendan Schaub and Roy Nelson that sent him in to retirement from the UFC the first time around. Gonzaga didn’t look very good in his knockout loss to Matt Mitrione but he went the distance with Stipe Miocic in his previous bout and his strength and power will serve him well again when these two fighters meet for the second time.

Pick: Gonzaga

Light Heavyweight Bout

(14-1-0) Jimi Manuwa vs. Jan Blachowicz (18-3-0)

Blachowicz is the proud native of Poland that is looking to put on a show for the home fans and while he looked good in his UFC debut when he beat Ilir Latifi he is about to take a major step up in competition level versus Manuwa. Manuwa’s undefeated run finally came to an end with a TKO loss to Alexander Gustafsson last March but he has had more than a year to recover and prepare for this next challenge and he matches up well with Blachowicz. Manuwa is a versatile fighter that packs a ton of power and considering his string of five straight TKO wins before finally faltering against Gustafsso it’s safe to say he should bounce back in this clash.

Pick: Manuwa

Welterweight Bout

(10-1-0) Pawel Pawlak vs. Sheldon Westcott (8-2-0)

Pawlawk is another Poland native from nearby Lodz but he is coming off the first loss of his career and will be in tough to bounce back against a tough opponent in Westcott. Westcott had strung together four straight wins including two via knockout before finally losing to Elias Theodorou in his last bout and while Pawlak will have the home supporters on his side he seems outmatched at least on paper in this tilt.

Pick: Westcott

Women’s Strawweight Bout

(9-0-0) Joanne Calderwood vs. Maryna Maroz (5-0-0)

The women’s strawweight bout is suddenly getting a ton of attention and while this fight could be one of the more entertaining bouts of the night just don’t expect it to last long. Maroz is undefeated in her native Poland but Calderwood is perfect as well and has faced much stiffer competition and proven herself along the way. Look for Calderwood to extend her dominant run in what will easily be the most difficult challenge that Maroz has faced up to this point.

Pick: Calderwood


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