While Frank Mir may believe Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has a “built-in” excuse for their UFC 119 showdown, it appears the eye injury Octagon president Dana White denied Cro Cop sustaining yesterday is indeed true. For those that think he just conjured up another out, CC’s got the witnesses and video footage to prove it.
“It was the very last minute, of the very last round, of the very last sparring [session],” Cro Cop told Fighters Only. “We were sparring in UFC gloves and my sparring partner – who is about 120 kilos, Croatia’s best Thai boxer – he poked me in the eye. The pain was like … I can’t even describe it, the pain was so big I thought he had blinded me.
“Luckily there was a TV crew in the room and also some reporters from two websites. Frank Mir has talked this and that, maybe if nobody had seen this and there was no video, he would again be saying I am trying to make excuses. But no excuses, it is just bad luck. All I need now is for my plane to be hit by lightning tomorrow and crash into the Atlantic.”
On Friday, the normally reliable Croatian website Index.hr reported that Filipovic had suffered an eye injury while training and couldn’t obtain medical clearance for his September 25th scrap with Mir.
White immediately shot down the news by tweeting, “Cro cop is fine. Rumor is not true.”
That was apparently just promoter talk for, ‘Please read the fine print.’
“I went to see a doctor and he advised that the eye should be rested minimum two weeks, but I have made a commitment to the UFC and a commitment to the fans,” he said. “So there is no question of backing out of the fight. I do not want to let anyone down, I know they could not find a replacement for me at this short notice and many fans have already bought tickets for the show.”
Although the former Pride superstar’s heart is in the right place, logic would lead us to believe Mirko would still have to be cleared by Indiana’s governing body before he’s allowed to enter the Octagon.
According to the FO’s John Joe O’Regan, Cro Cop is currently using a saline solution and gauze to protect his injured eye. The striker claims his vision is “almost normal” and is hopeful his sight will be fully recovered by the time the curtain is drawn next Saturday.
UFC 119 will be jumping off inside the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The heavyweight clash will (probably) headline the pay-per-view broadcast.
(At the time of publication, the footage of Cro Cop’s injury was not available on YouTube or the Internet.)