This has been quite the whirlwind month for Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic. Immediately following his UFC 99 win over Mustapha al-Turk, UFC president Dana White claimed that Cro Cop backstabbed him and the UFC, opting to sign a contract with Dream. Now it appears that CC’s next scrap will be inside the Octagon against Junior dos Santos at UFC 103.
Yesterday, dos Santos, one of the division’s fastest rising stars, was abruptly pulled from his UFC 102 tango with Justin McCully. With today’s report, it makes perfect sense why the organization chose to push dos Santos’ fight date back a month.
“I think I’ll fight September 19. They took me off the August 29 show,” dos Santos told Portal das Lutas, a partnering site to Graciemag.com. “My opponent’s changed. I’ll probably face Cro Cop. If I beat him I’ll be in really good standing. If that’s truly the case, I’m guaranteed on the main card and in the main event of the evening. If I were to fight now it wouldn’t be on the main card.”
Cro Cop was rumored to be fighting Siala “Mighty Mo” Siliga at Dream 10 in July, however it looks like you can scrap that now.
“To me it’s incredible,” dos Santos added about fighting a legend such as CC. “When they asked me if they could change the fight date I was a bit bothered, because I wanted to fight right away. I’ve been away for some time now. But the Fertitta brothers asked me and I accepted. After that I found out it would be against Cro Cop and was overjoyed. It’ll be a big opportunity in my career. Lots of good things have happened in my life and this is one more. I’m going to make the most of it.”After a disappointing debut with the UFC in 2007, when Cro Cop post a 1-2 record, CC and White recently spoke over the phone to iron out an unprecedented one-fight deal to bring him back to the Octagon for another shot.
“Isn’t that a dirty (expletive) thing to do?” White told Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports. “He (expletive) me. The first time in the history of the company I do [a contract] over the phone. He promised me a three-fight deal and he (expletive) me.”
That same evening, Sergio Non of USA Today confirmed CC’s three-fight Dream deal with Mike Kogan, who runs the U.S. operation of Dream’s parent company, Fighting and Entertainment Group (FEG).
However, two days after, Cro Cop stated that he hadn’t agreed to anything with anyone.
“I have nothing to hide or to be ashamed of,” Cro Cop told Index.hr. “The thing is very simple. I know the truth and Dana knows the truth — I had a one fight deal with UFC and I fulfilled my contractual obligation. I said we’re going to sit down and talk after UFC 99.”
CC stated that he was hesitant to re-up with the world’s largest MMA organization because he wanted more cage time.
“The problem is I’m 35 and I’m finally healthy. The UFC is offering me a fight six months from now,” said Cro Cop. “I said even before that I want to fight three more times this year. I don’t really care if it’s in the ring or inside the Octagon. I don’t see why I can’t fight in Japan for a few fights and then return to the UFC. That is also an option.”
Earlier this week, it was rumored that UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta flew out to personally meet with CC and offer “a deal that he couldn’t refuse.”
Although no official word has come from the UFC or CC himself, Fertitta’s recruiting trip apparently worked as CC looks to finish off what he wasn’t able to do the first time around, capture UFC gold.
UFC 103 is slated to take place inside the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on September 19th.
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