Since Glory kickboxing won’t return until Glory 19 in February, we’ll take a look back at some classic K-1 fights. Fighting all the way through the 1999 K-1 Grand Prix championship tournament, Cro Cop and Ernesto Hoost battled through three rounds to make it to the final. Cro Cop looked like a man on fire, taking KO victories over Mike Bernando, Musashi and Sam Greco. Hoost took decision victories over Xhavit Bajrami, Shotokan specialist Andy Hug and knocked out Jérôme Le Banner to make it to the final.
Cro Cop wore on Hoost hard with leg kicks in the opener. It’s astounding just how much kicking control and precision Cro Cop had in the height of his K-1 days. Cro Cop got Hoost off-balance with a leg kick and went for the kill with a right cross and left uppercut that pushed Hoost back to the ropes. Cro Cop came forward again aggressively with jab and hook combinations when he wasn’t keeping Host at a distance with kicks. Hoost was able to shell up in protection of most of the punches, but when he tried a right kick to the body, Cro Cop knocked him down with a jab. Hoost recovered, but was not able to land significant strikes against Cro Cop for the remainder of the round.
Hoost opened up round two with a great right head kick. Both Hoost and Cro Cop made excellent work trying to wear each other down with leg kicks throughout the course of the fight. At 4:45, Hoost came forward again with the right kick to the body that allowed Cro Cop to jab him off-balance and score a knockdown. Hoost tried to leg sweep Cro Cop at 5:08 to return the favor, but he was not successful. Cro Cop tried to take out a page from Hoost’s book and attempt a knee to the body, but Hoost was ready for him and jabbed him off-balance for the knockdown.
Hoost came out in the third very aggressively, using angles to cut off Cro Cop and corner him. He reached with a long right for a hard body shot that dropped Cro Cop at 8:10. Not looking to deviate from a winning formula, Hoost looked for another opportunity to score a shot to the body as soon as possible. At 8:40, he managed to land a right to the body once again. Cro Cop shelled up in defense, looking very hurt. Hoost got under the shell with a textbook left hook to the liver, dropping Cro Cop at 4:23. The body shot earned “Mr. Perfect” the 1999 K-1 Grand Prix Title.