In Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, UFC 110 Features Two of the Greatest of All Time

MMA historian Jonathan Snowden put together a top 10 heavyweights of all time list, and two of them are fighting at UFC 110: 4. Mirko “Cro Cop…

By: Nate Wilcox | 14 years
In Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, UFC 110 Features Two of the Greatest of All Time
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

MMA historian Jonathan Snowden put together a top 10 heavyweights of all time list, and two of them are fighting at UFC 110:

4. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filopovic: Filopovic was a devastating striker and seemed to have grapple repellent. When someone tried to take him down in his prime it’s like they slid right off of him. The problem with “Cro Cop” was always in his head. He was a man who wilted under pressure. When he did win the big one, the Pride Open Weight Grand Prix, it was against a light heavyweight, a middleweight and an exhausted Josh Barnett. His UFC tenure has done little to add to his legacy.

2. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: Born in Vitória da Conquista, Brazil, was there any doubt he would thrive and conquer? No one had better submissions than Nogueira in heavyweight history. His grip was like iron and some of the sport’s best fell victim to his armbar or triangle. He could never beat Fedor (although things were looking good in his second try before a cut stoppage) but he defeated most of the others on this list head to head.

Here’s his criteria:

Like baseball and other sports, the best way to judge fighters is based on how they competed within their own era, against contemporaries. With that standard in mind, I asked myself who the top heavyweight fighters of all time were.

I have to agree with Snowden here. This puts me in a different camp than our own Leland Roling and Jordan Breen, who feel that there can be no comparison between the well-trained and well-rounded athletes of the modern era and the pioneers of the sport. 

In my mind, baseball settled this dispute a long time ago and it should work for all sports. The only true judge of an athlete’s mettle is how he performs against the best of his era. Sure Barry Bonds is incontestably the superior physical specimen to Lou Gehrig Babe Ruth, but when you’re talking about greatness, it’s an easy call to pick Ruth. By that gauge, Cro Cop and Nogueira are clearly in the elite ranks. 

* thanks for the correction baseball geeks.


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About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of BloodyElbow.com. As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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