I was more a fan of boxing than mixed martial arts when Cro Cop was in his prime. I plead ignorance. If I am to blame, it’s because I wasn’t an edgy enough middle-aged prophet to divine the future of combat entertainment. Be that as it may. When Mirko joined the UFC and lost his second fight to Gabriel Gonzaga, I wept openly in front of my grandchild. The little girl who had no business watching the PPV, I told her father. Be that as it may.
Now that he’s stuck around the sport for thirteen years, we’ve all caught up and shared in the sidewinding career of the greatest Croatian fighter in the world. So this photo no doubt affects us all, at some level, the same way. We feel his joy, share in his sufferings, and admire the steady consistency of his impressive latissimus dorsi muscles, still quite impressive after all these mournful and celebratory years.