Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic sent out a violent message to the heavyweight division Saturday night at UFC 115. Although his 3rdRound submission victory over Pat Barry will help his bargaining power as a free agent, CC has recently showcased a more playful side – which certainly has improved his marketability.
“I was always known as a guy who likes to skip (the press) if it’s possible,” Filipovic said during the post-fight press conference. “I don’t think it’s maybe correct, and I just wanted to pay back for everything in the past.
“I don’t like (doing press), but I took it seriously this time, and I think I was open enough.”
When Cro Cop made his long awaited Octagon debut back in 2007, most expected his methodical ways inside the cage. However, it was his robotic and uncharismatic personality outside of it that turned a lot of fans off. Compounding matters was the fact the Croatian fell flat on his face in his first go-round with the UFC.
However, after amicably parting ways with the world’s biggest MMA promotion after posting a mundane 1-2 record, CC appears to be more willing to share his human side to others outside of his inner circle.
“I’m not a new one,” Filipovic said of his perceived reinvention. “I was always like this, but I just didn’t like to show it. I was too serious with the press conference. I should be open like this. I think people like it; the fans like it.”
Cro Cop’s momma certainly didn’t raise no fools because there’s nothing MMA fans like more than a fighter that can dazzle them with devastating skills inside of the cage, as well as showcasing the same level of infectious vibrancy outside of it.
It’s a winning combination that took the reserved Cro Cop 35 years to realize. UFC president Dana White knew all along what it would take for Americans to accept the former Pride star, he just didn’t know the striker had it in him.
“I like the new Cro Cop very much,” White said. “I like the new funny Mirko Cro Cop.”
We’ll see how much White and Co. admire Cro Cop’s services when they hit the negotiating tables to iron out a contract extension. CC made his comedic debut last night when he took the mic and requested UFC brass to award him with TWO Fight Night bonuses.
“I hope Dana White is not too stingy,” Filipovic jokingly said. “I want that Submission of the Night bonus, and maybe Fight of the Night, too?”
White must have only been moderately amused, as the heavyweight had to settle for just taking home Submission of the Night honors.