For mixed martial arts fans, the checkerboard pattern of Croatia is commonly associated with one man: the legendary Mirko Cro Cop. While he may be the most commonly known Croatian fighter, the small nation of just over four billion has a rich tradition in producing fighters that have reached the top level of their craft. From the storied kickboxers Stefan Leko and Branko Cikatic to former UFC fighters Igor Pokrajac and Goran Reljic, it’s easy to see the deep roots of Croatian mixed martial arts. But the man who dons the checkerboard shorts today in the octagon is not one from Croatia, rather, he hails from Cleveland, Ohio.
World Series of Fighting’s eighth event overall and first of 2014 took place Saturday night in Hollywood, Florida’s Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The card featured two title fights, in the Lightweight and the Women’s Strawweight (115 lbs) divisions, both of which saw a one-sided result. The card’s co-main event featured two former UFC fighters in Anthony Johnson vs. Mike Kyle, wherein Johnson continued his winning streak outside of the UFC with a decisive knockout victory.