Since there isn’t much going on in the Croatian MMA/Kickboxing scene this month, I decided to do a monthly write up. The monthly articles will include fighter updates, recent fight videos and interviews.
If there is any news I might of left out, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the update and I will add it to the article.
The Cleveland-born Croat Stipe Miocic is awaiting news on his next fight and opponent.
Miocic advised me today via text that he is currently in Denver, Colorado for the week training with fellow UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub. Stipe is part of Schaub’s training camp for his up coming UFC 145 bout against Big Ben Rothwell. The “HYBRID” Brendan Schaub is most well known for his knockout of Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipović at UFC 128.
Training with other UFC-caliber fighters can only help Stipe achieve his goal of becoming a future UFC champion. Watch for news on Stipe’s next fight in the near future.
Crippler Interview With Stipe Miocic
Igor “The Duke” Pokrajac
Pokrajac is currently training in Zagreb for his upcoming bout with Fabio Maldonado at UFC on Fuel Tv 3 in Fairfax, Virginia. The bout is slated to take place on May 15th at the Patriot Center.
In a recent interview, Pokrajac stated he is a more complete fighter than Maldonado and felt his kickboxing, wrestling and bjj was better than his opponent’s. Igor also said that him and Maldonado will not disappoint in this fight and it should be a contender for ‘fight of the night’ honors. According to his ground trainer Luka Jelcic, Pokrajac is looking like a beast in his pre-fight training. Jelcic stated that Igor has never looked this good and to expect a stronger faster Pokrajac in May.
Keep an eye out for a possible pre-fight interview with “The Duke” prior to his battle with Fabio Maldonado.
Crippler Interview with Igor Pokrajac
Croatian Light Heavyweight stand-out Goran Reljić could be on his way back to the UFC. Apparently UFC match maker Joe Silva attended Reljić’s last bout which he won decisively with a first round TKO over Rogent Llorent.
The bout took place in Geneva, Switzerland at the Strength and Honour Championships event held on March 24th, 2012. This marks two straight first round TKO victories for Reljić since his UFC release. The other victory came against Serbian fighter Goran Scepanovic on October 7th, 2011 in Zagreb, Croatia at the BFN Fight Night 6.
In a recent interview, Reljić stated that this is the best he has felt in a long time and has finally devoted himself fully to the martial arts, both mentally and physically. Reljić is widely regarded as the most talented MMA fighter to come out of Croatia and would be a great addition to the UFC roster.
I have added Reljic’s recent fight videos for viewing below.
Goran Reljić vs. Goran Scepanovic
Goran Reljić vs Rogent Llorent
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic
With his recent victory over Ray Sefo in a K1 rules bout, Mirko has stated in a recent interview that he has received several bids to compete in May, July and September of this year.
The offered fights are apparently for K1 rules bouts but Mirko stated there is also an MMA bout on the table. With this news, it is apparent Filipović has decided to keep on fighting and is also looking at possibly returning to the MMA fight scene.
There has been no word of any opponents or dates of any bouts at this time but I will keep you updated on any news regarding the legend Mirko Filipović.
Should Mirko keep on fighting? Or should he hang up the gloves?
Stefan “Blitz” Leko
Pride and K1 veteran Stefan “Blitz”Leko captured the WKA Heavyweight title by defeating Marinko Neimarevic with a second round KO in Germany.
Leko’s best years are behind him but at 37 years old it looks like he still has some fight left in him. The Croatian kick boxer has had an illustrious career in K1 with victories over many of the top fighters in the organization.
Leko currently has a kickboxing record of 69 wins and 29 losses with one draw.
I look forward to see if ” Blitz” will make another run at the K1 Grand Prix before he hangs up the gloves.
Stefan Leko vs Marinko Neimarevic
Other notable Croatian fighters this month are Maro Perak, Zelg Galesic, Anthony Perosh, Ivica Truscek and Luka Jelcic.
Perak recently defeated Bob “The Beast” Sapp by 1st round TKO in Croatia at Noc Gladiatora 6.
Maro Perak is a promising MMA fighter but he will have to step up and fight upper tier opponents if he wants to advance his career. If Perak can defeat a few big names he might find himself knocking on the UFC’s door. He currently has a record of 21 wins with only three defeats.
I have included his fight with “The Beast” Bob Sapp below.
Maro Perak vs Bob Sapp
Zelg Galešić has always been a top notch striker in MMA but has had a hard time once the fight is brought down to the mat. Galešić recently signed with the Bellator Fighting Championships and lost his first bout to eventual tournament winner Alexander Shlemenko.
Galešić has competed before on the big stage with fights for Pride and Dream in Japan. Bellator Fighting Championships is the biggest organization in the US next to the UFC so hopefully Galešić can get a win in his next outing and possibly make a run in the division.
Anthony “The Hippo” Perosh recently defeated Nick Penner at UFC on FX 2 by 1st round TKO. That victory gave Perosh three in a row since moving down to the light heavyweight division.
The Hippo will need to fight a contender next if he intends on making a run at the champ Jon Jones. At 39 years old, time is of the essence for Perosh and there has been no word as of yet on his next bout.
Ivica “Terror” Truscek recently won the WFC title with a victory over Lubomir Guedjev in Slovenia. Truscek followed up the victory with a loss to Diego Gonzalez but quickly got back in the win column with a victory over Kenneth Rosfortnees in Denmark.
Ivica looks to be an up and comer in MMA and if he continues to improve his game, he should have a successful career.
Luka is the ground fighting coach of UFC fighter Igor Pokrajac but he is an accomplished MMA fighter in his own right. Jelcic recently defeated Mario Makarić by 1st round Kimura in the newly formed organization, The Croatian MMA Leaugue. He is now 2-0 in pro competition and will face Franko Kliman on April 21st and hopes to stay undefeated in MMA.
As a friend of the Croatian Crippler and Croatiansports.com we wish Luka all the best in his MMA career. Look for Luka Jelcic to make a splash on the big shows in the near future.
That is all for this installment of the Croatian Crippler`s monthly review. Keep your eyes open for upcoming interviews and exclusives from the Crippler in the next few months.
You can follow the Crippler on Facebook @ Croatian Crippler or on Twitter @Crocrippler.