The UFC touches down in Krakow, Poland today with a heavyweight rematch between Mirko Cro Cop and Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC Fight Night 64.
All of the fight action from Poland airs on UFC Fight Pass, and FightLine will have main card play-by-play coverage later today.
Check out some of the interesting media notes, courtesy the UFC, below:
A DEBUT UFC EVENT IN POLAND
2014 saw the sport of mixed martial arts in Poland truly take off and become mainstream. With fans campaigning to bring a UFC event to Poland for the first time, the organisation announced in January that Poland would be one of two new countries visited this year, alongside Scotland on July 18. Breaking these new markets shows the continued demand in EMEA for events and overall growth for the UFC.
A LEGEND RETURNS
Mirko Cro Cop, one of the most legendary heavyweights in history, will return to the UFC for his third stint within the organisaiton on April 11. Cro Cop is the former 2006 Pride World Grand Prix Open-Weight Champion and former K-1 World Grand Prix Champion meaning he is only the second man in the world to win a major MMA championship and K-1 Championship. His elite level of kickboxing makes him one of the most dangerous and feared strikers in the world – always delivering an explosive performance.
BITTER RIVALS MEET AGAIN
Two of the biggest names in not just MMA, but in combat, will face off in the heavyweight main event battle. Mirko Cro Cop and Gabriel Gonzaga previously met at UFC 70 in Manchester, England, in 2007 in what is still know as one of the most memorable fights in UFC history. With a spectacular head kick, Gonzaga knocked out Cro Cop with his own signature strike and dashed his hopes of a shot at the heavyweight title. Cro Cop will be looking to settle the score once and for all on April 11.
LOCAL FIGHTERS LOOKING TO MAKE THEIR MARK
Polish MMA has grown stronger over the recent years, producing talent that has previously gone under the radar. Jan Blachowicz made an impressive debut at UFC Fight Night Stockholm in October 2014 as he defeated Ilir Latifi with a stunning TKO in the first round. Blachowicz will face a tough test in Jimi Manuwa on April 11. In addition to Blachowicz, UFC Fight Night: Gonzaga vs Cro Cop 2 will feature a whole host of Polish MMA talent including Marcin Bandel, Izabela Badurek, Daniel Omielanczuk, Damian Stasiak, Bartosz Fabinski and Pawel Pawlak.
STRAWWEIGHTS TAKE CENTRE STAGE
For the first time on a UFC card in Europe, two strawweight bouts will take place as Joanne Calderwood takes on Maryna Moroz and Izabela Badurek faces Aleksandra Albu with three UFC debuts amongst the four. The strawweight division is stacked full of talent and is increasingly capturing the attention of fans across the world. With recently crowned strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk sitting in the crowd at the Tauron Arena, talk will circulate around who might be the next challenger in the division.