Props to Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic for accepting the daunting task of facing former heavyweight champ Frank Mir with only 41 days remaining until showtime. However, it appears CC may already be creating an out just in case he isn’t able to collect his third consecutive Octagon victory at UFC 119.
Cro Cro was last seen submitting Pat Barry with a 3rdRound rear-naked choke at UFC 115 in mid-June. The last time the soon-to-be 36-year-old took a scrap on such a quick turnaround was following his TKO win over Mostapha Al-Turk at UFC 99 in June 2009.
He was subsequently slapped silly by Junior dos Santos three months later at UFC 103.
While some much needed R&R was on the agenda, Cro Cop’s Bat Phone started buzzing and it was the company’s HEAD HONCHO on the other end in dire straits because Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was forced to withdraw from his main event bout with Mir.
“I would not agree to the madness of this fight if Lorenzo Fertitta didn’t beg me to step in,” Filipovic stated. “They were in a difficult situation because “Minotauro” could not fight and this is my way to repay [the UFC]. This is for the whole UFC and the fans who appreciate me.
“Regardless of the situation and the short-term preparation, some things in life must be separated. They enabled me to have a fruitful life and I will be eternally grateful.”
After entering the Octagon with much hoopla in early 2007, Cro Cop fizzled in his first foray with the world’s premier MMA promotion and the parties agreed to a pre-mature and amicable divorce.
Thus far, CC has made good on his promise to Dana White after the UFC president opted to bring him back to avenge his disappointing 1-2 debut. Cro Cop has gone 3-1 since his return and looked impressive against Barry, who some considered a younger and more explosive version of the Croatian.
“Just this morning I had a good workout. Perhaps the worst thing is the immediacy of the training and getting tired out there. This all, of course, does not mean that I am looking for an excuse, but I certainly will not be ready. However, it still means I can lay [Frank Mir] out in the 1stRound.”
It may not be an excuse, but was that just a prediction?