One of the most highly anticipated fights this Saturday at UFC 99: The Comeback pits Mostapha Al-turk (6-4) against the returning Mirko Cro Cop (24-6-2 1 NC). Dana White admitted to ditching standard protocol in getting Mirko Cro Cop back into the UFC during a media call yesterday.
“I’ve never done this,” White said. “In the history of the company, I’ve never done this with anybody ever. I respect Mirko and I’ve always said that publicly, and he knows how I feel about him and I know how he feels about me and I know what his goals are as far as the UFC and the title go.”
White, who is usually adamant about his fighters signing written deals before competing in the organization, also noted that this deal was put together over the phone.
“We did this thing over the phone,” White said. “I’ve never done that in nine years of being in this business.
“When Mirko and I talked on the phone, the day that he said that he wanted to come back, let me tell you he was all fired up and basically saying, ‘Listen, I got my surgery, I’ve been training, I want this, I want to come back, I want to win that title, and I want to take a run at it.'”
White went on to note that the deal was made over the course of three days and was a verbal deal. As for whether Cro Cop will fight again in the UFC after Saturday, White noted, “Mirko will fight this fight and we’ll talk after the fight and see what happens.”
Cro Cop, for his part, noted that his old flame had returned in an interview with DNEVNIK.hr.
“I feel great, I would even say that this small break came in handy,” Cro Cop stated. “That same old flame I had once has returned and I can’t wait to train, even though I train a lot already, every training brings enormous satisfaction and I honestly feel great.”
Cro Cop also doesn’t expect Saturday’s fight to be his last in the UFC, but rather the start of his comeback.
“This is definitely not the last fight in the UFC for me,” Cro Cop predicted during Tuesday’s media call. “Definitely not, you have my word for it.”