Rizin Grand Prix 2016: Mirko Cro Cop’s Triumphant Return

The Rizin Fighting World Grand Prix 2016 was a spectacle of mixed martial arts that took place in Saitama, Japan. The event was split into two rounds, with the first round taking place on September 25, 2016, and the second round on December 29, 2016. The tournament was a thrilling display of skill, strength, and strategy, with fighters from around the world competing for the grand prize.

The first round of the Grand Prix was a thrilling event that featured 13 fights. The tournament featured both the former PRIDE Grand Prix champion Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, and the former PRIDE middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva. However, Silva was one of two men to receive a bye in the first round. The tournament also featured two seeded fighters, Cro Cop and Silva, who were kept on separate sides of the bracket.

The second round of the Grand Prix was equally exciting. Jiří Procházka was injured and couldn’t participate in the second round of the Grand Prix, and was subsequently replaced by Tsuyoshi Kohsaka. Mirko Cro Cop was originally scheduled to have a rematch with Wanderlei Silva in the Openweight. However, Silva withdrew from the bout and was replaced by Muhammed Lawal.

The main event of the Grand Prix was a thrilling fight between Mirko Cro Cop and Amir Aliakbari. Cro Cop, a former PRIDE Open-Weight Grand Prix Champion, and Aliakbari, a world-class wrestler, faced off in a match that had fans on the edge of their seats. In the end, it was Cro Cop who emerged victorious, winning the championship and solidifying his status as one of the greatest fighters in the history of mixed martial arts.

The Rizin Grand Prix 2016 was not just about the fights, but also about the fighters. The tournament included Pride FC veterans like Kazuyuki Fujita, Tsuyoshi Kosaka, Heath Herring, Sumo sensation Baruto Kaito, and Rizin GP 2015 winner King Mo. Each of these fighters brought their unique skills and styles to the ring, contributing to the excitement and unpredictability of the event.

In conclusion, the Rizin Grand Prix 2016 was a landmark event in the world of mixed martial arts. It showcased the best of the best in the sport, from seasoned veterans to rising stars. The thrilling fights, the unexpected twists and turns, and the triumphant return of Mirko Cro Cop made it an event to remember. As we look back on the Grand Prix, we are reminded of the skill, strength, and spirit that define the sport of mixed martial arts.


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