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Is there any of the "old" Cro Cop left in the 2011 version? Will he defeat Roy Nelson at UFC 137?
RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
There is nothing but *old* Cro Cop left. There's a lot of washed-up Cro Cop left too. What remains (and that's a double entendre for those who haven't had their morning coffee yet) of Cro Cop is a fighter whose best days are at least five years behind him. He's slow and tentative, either unwilling or unable to pull the trigger. Even Jude the Apostle is sticking his fingers in his ears and screaming, just to avoid having to hear the prayers coming his way about this fight.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
As much as I would love for it to happen, I just can't see the old Cro Cop returning. I don't know if it's residuals from the Gabriel Gonzaga knockout or just age, but the old Cro Cop's not walking through that door. I think Roy Nelson wins this fight the way he wants. If he wants to win a boring decision, that happens. If Roy wants to go for the finish, that happens. I would love to see Cro Cop get the knockout with a left foot head kick, but that's just wishful thinking.
ALVIN CARTER, MMATORCH SPECIALIST
Old Cro Cop is always there as long as he can throw his legs with some ill intent. His eagerness to fight is waning, but his ability to turn his hip over with ferocity still exists. I want him to defeat Roy Nelson only because I want to see the legend go out on top or at least in the upper three-fourths. We are probably a little late for that, but I think if he lets his feet fly, he can damage Nelson and get a second round TKO and possibly an opportunity at some decent competition. Nelson is a smart fighter and should not be counted out. If I was not a kickboxing fan, I could probably make a narrower case on how Nelson could win the fight. This bout will come down to Cro Cop's level of intensity versus Neslon's game plan.
ERIC HOBAUGH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
There is little, if any, of the "old Cro Cop" left. He should have retired before he came to the UFC. After his last two fights, in which he was knocked out by Frank Mir and Brendan Schuab, it is obvious he should stop fighting. I think Roy Nelson will KO him in the third round.
CHRIS PARK, MMATORCH UK SPECIALIST
This is my fear. One part of Cro Cop has gone forever. What I mean by that is Cro Cop can no longer take a shot to the head and is therefore unable to take part in the wars of fights he has had in the past. What I want to see is if he can bring back part of the Pride legend, just enough to take Nelson out before one of those inevitable haymakers lands. While I'm not exactly Big Country's biggest fan, he does have serious power that Cro Cop's chin will not be able to absorb. This has a "loser leaves town" feel about it, but should Cro Cop take the win, it could be the last we see of either man inside the Octagon. I'm going for a late TKO for Cro Cop, an on-mic retirement, and possibly a Roy Nelson release (subject to his performance) from the UFC. Nelson has, however, been getting into the best shape of his career and so we could see a different attitude coming in to this fight.
JASON AMADI, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Cro Cop's days as a top heavyweight are done. He's had a great career, but now it's over. If he loses this fight, which is my expectation, then he should retire. If he wins this fight, which would be a major upset in most people's eyes, he would have all the more reason retire.
Roy Nelson is looking slimmer than ever, while Cro Cop has looked heavier and heavier since he debuted in the UFC. Roy Nelson has an iron chin, Cro Cop seems to get stopped with regularity at this point.
Bet your house on Roy Nelson. If by some crazy chance Cro Cop lands one of his vintage, but now rarely seen left high kicks and stops the ultra durable Roy Nelson, then you'll have one hell of a story to tell your new homeless buddies.
SHAWN ENNIS, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
No and no. Let's be frank here. Cro Cop's last significant win came in 2006 over Josh Barnett. He simply hasn't been dominant since the fall of Pride, and that's just not coming back. Roy Nelson is not a world-beater, but he's good enough to take out this version of Cro Cop. Nelson can probably win on the feet if he wants to at this point, but Cro Cop does still have some power, so Nelson will probably win by submission.
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