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‘Mirko Cro Cop Stepping Into the Ring on NYE?’

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Mirko Cro Cop will be in Japan on New Year’s Eve. Apparently he is going to be the guest of the pro-wrestling show, Hustle that is taking place at Saitama Super Arena. According to Hustle Entertainment, Nobuhiko Takada invited Mirko and he is going to be speaking to the fans from inside the ring. TV Tokyo, one of Japan’s five private national stations, will broadcast this show. Hustle is the pro-wrestling show known for creating character for each fighters – Akebono fighting as a baby boy, Kevin Randleman wearing a mask, etc. Apparently both TV Tokyo and Hustle Entertainment are now thinking about a very unique way to introduce Cro Cop to the pro- wrestling fans on New Year’s Eve. Now the biggest question here is , will Mirko be staying at the Saitama Super Arena for the night or make an appearance in the Yarennoka! show? Obviously he is still under contract with the UFC so we can assume that he would need permission from Zuffa to make a public appearance in any other MMA show besides the UFC. For the Japanese fans, although Mirko has now suffered two consecutive losses in the UFC, he is still one of the big heroes produced in the PRIDE shows so if this Yarennoka! show is the show to put the official period to the history of PRIDE, the presence of Mirko Cro Cop is something not only appropriate but also necessary for some die-hard PRIDE fans.

So is Mirko stepping into the ring at the Yarennoka! show as well? At this point there is no official announcement in regards to Mirko’s actions for the night of New Year’s Eve.

Report by Shu Hirata (

Photo by Yoshinori Ihara (

PIC: Mirko Cro Cop KO’d Wanderlei Silva in the semi, and defeated Josh Barnett in the final to win PRIDE Open-weight GP. (September 10, 2006)

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