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Croatian Judge Explains Reason For Jarrell Miller vs. Mirko Cro Cop Decision

Cro CopWe are a few weeks out from Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic scoring his K-1 World Grand Prix victory, winning three fights in one night and finally winning the "big one" after all of those years. Mirko Cro Cop has had a legendary career with battles with some of the biggest names in all of combat sports and an impressive resume over the span of two sports; MMA and Kickboxing. This World Grand Prix win was a big deal for Cro Cop as well as fans of his around the world, but many see it as a tainted victory.

In the Quarterfinal round Cro Cop faced off against America's Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller and the two had quite a war, with Miller dominating most of the fight, dictating where the fight took place and landing some truly devastating knees and punches from the clinch. The decision has been a topic of conversation since it happened, many deeming it to be a robbery and that Miller rightfully won the bout. Some of the Cro Cop faithful are willing to stick their necks out and say that Cro Cop won the fight, but the overwhelming opinion is that Cro Cop stole the victory and that it was handed to him by a hometown crowd, hometown judges or even having his manager and team as the promoters of the event.

There is no proof of foul play anywhere, but the circumstances are interesting, to say the least. On FightSite.hr (also a property of Fight Channel, which is owned and operated by Orsat Zovko, Cro Cop's manager) they posted an interview with one of the judges from the event, Mladen Kranjcec, who shared his thoughts on the event, the fight and how the judges rendered the decision for Mirko Cro Cop. He notes that there was another Croatian judge for the fights, Zvonko Rukavina, because the organizers felt that they needed Croatian judges.

While I'm not going to post a Google Translation on here, when asked the question as to the bout with Miller and the controversy around it, his explanation was that Miller was breaking the rules by throwing so many strikes from the clinch, which hindered Cro Cop from being able to fight the fight his way, and that the referee was at fault for not properly enforcing the rules. So the judges took it upon themselves to instead enforce those rules. He then commended Ismael Londt for not crying foul when Mirko Cro Cop went for a grounded strike after he knocked Londt down, or for "acting" like he got hit by it.

The problem here is that the basic logic is heavily flawed. In combat sports it is the referee's job to enforce the rules and the promoter and commission's job to ensure that the rules are clear and being enforced during the fights. It is not a judge's job to interpret the rules for themselves and to discount significant action because they believe it to not be legal. In boxing if a referee misses an intentional headbutt followed by a barrage of strikes the judges do not discount the strikes that follow the headbutt because they have a better understanding of the rules than the referee, they are forced to score the bout as it goes down and leave the rules to the official inside of the ring.

This logic is clearly heavily flawed and while it might clear up some of the controversy surrounding Mirko Cro Cop's K-1 WGP victory, these decisions made by officials will continue to mar what was a big night in Cro Cop's career.

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K-1 WGP in Moldova 2013 Results

Moldova

The K-1 World Grand Prix in Moldova has come and gone, with the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix going down and Constantin Tutu being crowned the victor. The event also saw Sergei Laschenko get back in the win column, albeit against a lesser opponent on late notice. Full results follow after the break.

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A Visual Breakdown of This Weekend's K-1 Light Heavyweight GP in Moldova

Part of what always made K-1 special and work was that their regional qualifying tournaments became integral parts of the K-1 experience. The K-1 World Grand Prix did a lot of the times fall into having the same few names involved year-after-year, but new names came up on a regular basis from the regional tournaments that K-1 held. It is also what helped to grow the brand outside of Japan and turn it into a global sports entertainment brand.

This weekend's K-1 Moldova event follows in that traditional by having a few qualifying bouts as well as a Light Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament featuring some of the better names in the division that were available, with Constantin Tutu being an early favorite in the tournament. Here is a visual breakdown on the tournament as well as a few of the qualifying bouts and Superfights on the card.

K-1 Moldova

Superfights and Qualifying bouts after the break.

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Badr Hari's Foot is NOT Broken, Scheduled to Fight as Soon as May

BadrThis weekend has been a strange one when it comes to K-1 news. The fallout from the K-1 World Grand Prix has left a lot of people in doubt over some of what went down, especially when it comes to Badr Hari. Where Badr Hari goes, controversy follows, apparently. As we all know by now, Badr Hari fought Zabit Samedov in the Final 8 round of the K-1 World Grand Prix, but claimed to have a broken foot and was unable to compete in the tournament.

This followed some rumors and tips that LiverKick.com had received leading up to the event that Badr Hari would only fight once during the event, as well as a report that someone would come down with an injury during the event and not move forward. The photos that emerged of Badr Hari's foot being heavily inflamed seemed to tell the story pretty well, though, and it seemed like an open and shut case; he was injured, he couldn't move on, rumors were rumors.

Not so fast.

Then today Badr Hari makes a statement to Dutch press that his foot is indeed not broken, but he has a sprained ankle. It looks like a case of draining it and wrapping it would have done the trick if he opted to move on with said injury, which is not uncommon in the one-night tournament format at all. In this last event we saw Dzevad Poturak compete on an injury and in the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix Gokhan Saki competed with two hefty injuries. There has also been word that Badr Hari is training for a fight with K-1 in May, but nothing official on that yet.

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