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Eduard Irimia Isn't Worried About K-1's Return

IrimiaIf you are trying to break into an industry where there is one clear-cut king, it is tough. It can be a bit easier for an opportunist to break in while that king is down and trying to pull itself back up, but the knowledge comes with it that eventually there will be a sleeping giant to fend off. This is where Romanian businessman and kickboxing magnate Eduard Irimia of SuperKombat finds himself after rumors surfaced that K-1 would be making its return shortly. SuperKombat held a successful 2011 year organized a slew of events including multiple tournaments, culminating in a World Grand Prix of sorts featuring a lot of younger talent.

When asked about what he thought about the return of K-1, he did not seem all that concerned.

"I honestly do not believe that the returning product will be the same. They have saved a name, but the product itself is compromised. I think that the last final in 2010 only gathered a few thousand spectators, was far from the glory days. I believe more in projects that increase, such SuperKombat, Fight Code and even It's Showtime, which has made ​​some notable events. Many businesses that were sold were not just because they had the same people back. I can say that I am glad that will have global competition and am even willing to cooperate if it is something official. Currently, however, have said that I did not see anything clearly."

While I agree that Irimia doesn't have much to worry about in Romania, I'm not quite sure that SuperKombat can be seen on the same level or in the same breath as K-1. The SuperKombat WGP last year featured some solid talent, but were a lot of prospects who aren't worldwide names yet. With time they could be big names, so it is a gamble for him which could pay off big time, but it will take time. For now, I want to see SuperKombat continue to grow and not worry about competing with K-1.


Cro Cop Final Fight Weigh In Pics And Video


Cro Cop Final Fight is set to take place tomorrow in Zagreb, Croatia at the Zagreb Arena in front of almost 20 000 people. Headling the card of course is Croatian superstar Mirko Cro Cop taking on fellow K-1 veteran Ray Sefo. The weigh ins took place today and we have videos and pictures for you to see, as well as some of the official weights. Click "Read More" to see the official weigh in video and some pictures.

Official Weights (Don't have for Kujundzic/Dosen, Fabjan/Posavec and Preteni/Assi)

Mirko Cro Cop - 237.6lbs/108kg vs. Ray Sefo - 264lbs/120kg

Daniel Ghita - 239.8lbs/109kg vs. Sergei Lascenko - 248.6lbs/113kg

Igor Jurkovic - 222.2lbs/101kg vs. Freddy Kemayo - Didn't weigh in, arrives in Zagreb tonight

Mladen Brestovac - 244.2lbs/111kg vs. Mourad Bouzidi - 213.4lbs/97kg

Stefan Jelic - 244.2lbs/111kg vs. Michael Duut - 239.8lbs/109kg

Toni Milanovic - 200.2lbs/91kg vs. Sahak Parparyan 200.2lbs/91kg


Photo of the Day: Cro Cop and Ray Sefo Preparing for War

This weekend Cro Cop returns to Kickboxing and takes on another legend in the sport by the way of Ray Sefo. Cro Cop has softened a bit with age, and just always appears as an amiable guy, so it isn't uncommon to see him looking happy nowadays. Isn't that what is really important? There is also footage from the presser if you speak don't mind YouTube's auto-translations.

Sefo/Cro Cop


The Potential Impact Of "Cro Cop Final Fight"

Cro Cop Final Fight takes place this Saturday, March 10 in Zagreb, Croatia. Headlining the card is PRIDE, UFC and K-1 star Mirko Cro Cop, who returns to K-1 rules for the first time since he destroyed Bob Sapp on April 30, 2003. Cro Cop by all means is a superstar in his native Croatia and the upcoming Final Fight event is capturing eyes nationwide. As far as the impact of the event goes, it could be a big boost for the sport in Croatia and the rest of the Balkans or it could just be a big attraction that comes and goes.

The event will be held at the Zagreb Arena, a state of the art facility that can hold up to 24 000 people. The arena is almost sold out, and without a doubt, Cro Cop is who everyone is coming to see. All the major media outlets in Croatia are covering the event daily leading up to March 10, really showcasing the true magnitude of Cro Cop's stardom.

I think one of the important parts of this card is Cro Cop's stardom possibly rubbing off on all the other fighters on the card, specifically the Croatians. Aside from Cro Cop, there are seven Croatian fighters featured and most of them are pretty solid fighters in their own right. Igor Jurkovic, Mladen Brestovac, Mladen Kujundzic, Marin Dosen, Agron Preteni, Toni Milanovic and Ivan Posavec all will be representing Croatia in front of the attention of many. Jurkovic and Brestovac are probably the best out of the fighters I listed, especially Jurkovic who is seen as one of the up and coming heavyweights to look out for, holding an impressive stoppage victory over Pavel Zhuravlev.

This is being called Cro Cop's final fight, but I'm not sure I buy that. This doesn't seem to be a one time thing, being the first event promoted by Fight Channel. They were able to recruit a ton of talent, international and national and if I'm right about this not being Cro Cop's last fight then we could possibly see more events with Cro Cop headlining. If Cro Cop retiring after this fight is the case, it could be that the event generated enough interest in the sport and some of the Croatian fighters that Fight Channel continues to hold events on the back of Croatian fighters featured on Saturday's show. Either way, this doesn't seem to me like a one and done deal.

I'm optimistic about the impact that Saturday's event can have on the sport in Croatia and surrounding areas. Cro Cop brings so much to the table as the headliner and even if the other Croatian fighters on the card can get a speck of the attention that he will, it has some good potential for the future. The event is being covered and talked about so widely that a victory and a step forward for the sport is definitely obtainable.


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