Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has officially signed a three-fight contract extension to remain with the UFC. President Dana White confirmed the deal today with Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, putting to bed this month-long drama once and for all.
“I never had a problem with Mirko himself and I’m looking forward to having him fight for us again,” White told the site. “He’s said (his previous stint in) the UFC is the black mark on his career and he wants to do something about that.”
After a disappointing debut with the UFC in 2007, when Cro Cop posted a 1-2 record, CC and White had recently spoken over the phone to iron out an unprecedented one-fight deal to bring him back to the Octagon for another shot. If he was victorious in his return, he would then re-up with the organization under a new three-fight deal.
The Croatian went on to annihilate Mustapha al-Turk at UFC 99, however White claims that before the sweat had even dried off his forehead, CC abruptly changed his mind and decided to sign with Dream.
“Isn’t that a dirty [expletive] thing to do?” White told Yahoo! Sports at the time. “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 later, 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 remain 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.”
Last week, it was rumored that UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta flew out to personally meet with CC and offer him “a deal that he couldn’t refuse.”
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.
White summed up this entire misunderstanding/ordeal/fiasco by blaming his shady overseas counterparts.
“I’ve said this many times, and I’ll say it again: there’s some crooked (expletive) that goes on in Japan,” said White. “They’re all crooked; there’s some sneaky [expletive] going on over there. That’s always a big problem. These guys that are in the fight business over there, for my Mexican friends, ‘no bueno.'”
Cro Cop will be taking on Junior dos Santos at UFC 103 inside the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on September 19th.
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