The back and forth on whether or not Mirko Cro Cop continues today with an interview with index.hr and translated by MMACube.com. In the interview, he maintains that he has not signed a deal with DREAM, a direct contradiction of what Mike Kogan, who runs the U.S. operation of Dream’s parent company, told the USA Today.
“I have nothing to hide or to be ashamed of,” Cro Cop maintained. “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 gonna sit down and talk after UFC 99.
“The problem is I’m 35 and I’m finally healthy. UFC is offering me a fight six months from now. Even before UFC 99 I said that won’t work for me, but they said something like they’re gonna change it. I said even before that I wanna fight three more times this year, I don’t really care if it’s ring or octagon.”
As for whether or not DREAM presented a better offer, Cro Cop explained, “I’m a big star in Japan and I can be on every card I want there. I have a lot of fans there who want me to return. They offer me way more fights and more often, and there is always a possibility that a fight with Fedor could occur – that is my priority.”
Cro Cop still maintained that the UFC has the best fighters, but isn’t willing to wait six months to fight again.
“I still stand behind my words and I know the best fighters are I UFC. I want that belt so much, but if they’re offering me the next fight in six months, I don’t see how I could take it. I said that when I thought things will go in another direction. That belt is still my goal – but I want to have a couple of fights in the next few months.”
As for Dana White’s reaction to his alleged signing with DREAM, Cro Cop contends that the whole matter was blown out of proportion.
“The thing was blown out of proportion. All of this, besides being a sport is a big business too. They know in the UFC I did my part of the deal, so I don’t think we’ll have any problems. I haven’t signed nothing yet with any organization, and as I said – I’m prepared to talk with both sides. I’ve never been in a sweeter, yet more difficult position. DREAM offers me more fights, but at the other hand I’m aware of the quality that is in UFC.”
Cro Cop switched his attention to his fight this past Saturday with Mustafa Al-Turk, saying that the fight was a positive for him.
“He started very strong, with wide crosses, trying to get to my chin,” Cro Cop stated of Al-Turk. “Then he tried to shoot for my legs, but I shrugged him off easily. He didn’t have to do that thing with the eye though.”
Cro Cop said that although he did hit Al-Turk in the eye, it was not a strong hit.
“It was not a strong hit. I literally brushed him. It was more of pushing him away and he just ran in to it. I looked at the judge and he said to keep going. I’m here to fight, right? But there is not a chance that played an important role. He was nearly finished from my strikes before that.”
Cro Cop talked about his previous fights with the UFC, and if he would do anything different in those fights today.
“I didn’t think about it and I don’t regret anything. I entered the cage then motivated by money, not my desire to win. Today is a different story. Besides, I improved a lot. Especially in my wrestling techniques, my cardio and strength. And about that KO – it’s not a shame to go down, it’s a shame not to get up.”
Cro Cop went on to say that the fighter that he most wants to fight is someone who isn’t in the UFC – Fedor Emelianenko.
“Fedor is my eternal wish, my biggest challenge. In UFC I would like to get a chance of a rematch with Nog (Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira), and I would like to fight Randy [Couture] cause he’s a legend. But if you want the belt, you have to fight the best so I don’t really care. This [Cain] Valesquez guy has much perspective as a fighter.”