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Mirko Cro Cop vs. Gabriel Gonzaga - the Winner Takes on Randy Couture

By Robert Rousseau, ExtremeProSports.com
UFC 70: Nations Collide is slated to take place in Manchester, England on April 21st. Though the card was originally chock-full of excellent fights, it has recently been diluted with the loss of Forrest Griffin from the card.

Still, UFC 70 should be a good one. Even better, you won't have to pay to see it as the event will air on Spike Television at 9 P.M.

Besides, its hard to complain about a card with Mirko Cro Cop on it. And how about Cro Cop's training partner, Fabricio Werdum, jumping right in there to take on Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski in his UFC debut?

But let's start by breaking down the headline fight.

Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic vs. Gabriel Gonzaga for the right to fight Randy "The Natural" Couture for the UFC Heavyweight Championship

We all know the deal on Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic. Thus, let's summarize quickly.

Cro Cop is probably the best heavyweight technical striker in mixed martial arts. He tends toward fast, straight punches that do damage. And of course we know what happens when that high left kick comes off.

People go to sleep.

Beyond the best kicks ( low and high ) in MMA history, Cro Cop may just have the best takedown defense in the heavyweight division as well. Therefore, he always seems to get the chance to knock people out. And since he started training with Fabricio Werdum- a man that is also fighting on the UFC 70 card- his defensive guard and overall ground skills have gotten much stronger. In fact, throughout his career Cro Cop has shown the ability to take people down, even if he doesn't seem to want to.

Gabriel Gonzaga possesses a 7-1 overall MMA record that includes three straight victories in the UFC. Still, he hasn't fought anywhere near the consistent level of competition that Cro Cop has. Thus, there are perhaps more questions than answers surrounding him.

Though Gonzaga's striking skills have improved tremendously over the years, he is still a submission fighter at heart. Further, the best fighter he has ever gone up against is probably, low and behold, Fabricio Werdum ( we're hearing a lot on this guy right now, aren't we? ).

When Gonzaga took on Werdum back in 2003, Werdum TKO'd him.

So, here's the skinny on this one. Gonzaga is good. That said, he'll almost certainly be knocked out if he stands with Cro Cop for any length of time. Unfortunately for him, that's exactly what Cro Cop is probably going to force him to do.

In other words, anything can happen in MMA when two true mixed martial artists like these walk into The Octagon. But the chances of us seeing that Couture vs. Cro Cop battle are looking pretty good.

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