MMA legend Mirko Cro Cop will be fighting in Bellator. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani is reporting that Cro Cop will be fighting on February 16 at Bellator 217 against Roy Nelson. The two fighters previously fought at UFC 137 where Nelson defeated Cro Cop by TKO.
Ultimately, Cro Cop was signed in March of 2018 and was supposed to fight Nelson at Bellator 200. However, Cro Cop got hurt and had to pull out of the event. Now, Cro Cop and Nelson will finally fight each other for the second time. Cro Cop is a fan favorite to many MMA fans given he is considered a legend to many. However, Cro Cop never won a UFC heavyweight championship but was always a top contender.
The 44-year-old last fought in September for RIZIN, where he is currently riding a nine-fight winning streak heading into his Bellator debut. He also has notable wins over the likes of King Mo, Pat Barry, Wanderlei Silva, and Josh Barnett among others. The veteran is currently 37-11-2 and one no contest as a professional.
For Nelson, this will be his fourth Bellator fight and is currently 1-2 inside the promotion. He made his Bellator debut back in September 2017 where he defeated Javy Ayala before losing to Matt Mitrione in the first round of the Bellator heavyweight Grand Prix. Following the loss to Mitrione, he was knocked out by Sergei Kharitonov at Bellator 207 to put him on his first two-fight losing streak since losing three in a row to Mark Hunt, Allistair Overeem and Josh Barnett stretching over 2014 and 2015.
This is a great fight for Bellator to put on. It features two heavyweights who aren’t afraid to stand-and-bang in the pocket. It also seems like a fight that someone is going to get knocked out. Nelson is looking to get back to the win column and back to .500 in Bellator. For Cro Cop he is looking to show the North American fans that he is a legitimate contender and with a win could prove that.
It is a great fight and a fight that makes a ton of sense for Bellator.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime