Cro Cop: On To Japan, Fight Fedor, Then Back To The UFC?

mirko cro cop dreams

mirko cro cop dreams

Mirko Cro Cop unveils his future plans in a recent interview with a Croatian news site. Cro Cop plans to fight three fights with the Japanese upstart promotion DREAMS, then possibly fight Fedor Emelianenko in December. If all else fails with Fedor, its back to the UFC, with a renegotiated contract of course.

Here is the loosely translated interview Mirko Cro Cop did with a Croatian News Site:

Why did you leave the UFC?

I just couldn’t wait until May.

But Dana White told the press he was waiting for you and not the other way around?

White obviously thought I was still on vacation but I notified him I was in full training and wanted to compete in March. However, the UFC couldn’t find me an opponent that fast and I didn’t want to stop my preparations and start all over again for my match in May. Besides I was HUNGRY for a fight and nervous (anxious) like a dog.

How did you come to an agreement with DREAM?

Soon after my conversation with Dana I got a call from DREAM. Altough I didn’t sign any contract we came to an agreement for 3 fights in March, June and September. I never had written contracts with the Japenese because we have always done business by verbal agreement (handshake).

What has drawn you to Dream?

The key thing was the opporunity to fight in March. Also Japan is where I built my name and in a way my second home.

What happened to your obligations towards the UFC?

I’m going to go back to the UFC without a doubt, altough my contract doesn’t bind me to do so. The date of return depends on a possible fight with Fedor. The fight should take place on 31st December if Fedor accepts. If that failes I’ll be back in the UFC by the end of this year.

The UFC has ‘agreed’ to let you go to the competition?

I have managed to come to terms with Dana and I’m thankful for his cooperation and understanding. I owe not only the UFC but especially my british fans who really supported me in my last two bouts. Not even in Japan have I received such support so I’m really sorry I was in a crisis back then.

With who did you want to fight in the UFC?

I asked for a rematch with Gonzaga but that was not possible because he lost to Werdum. Then I asked for Kongo but that wasn’t possible either.

Will you be training in the ring or in the cage?

I’m continuing to train in the cage. Transitioning from the cage to the ring is not a problem but the other way around requires adjustments. It seems all the Pride fighters
underperformed when they made the transition to the UFC.

So you didn’t take the transition from the ring to the octagon well?

I had fallen into some kind of psychological crisis. Even in the Sanchez fight I wasn’t my old self. Maybe I got saturated with fighting after the OWGP.

How do you explain this crisis?

It’s hard to explain, all I know is that I lost that KILLER INSTINCT. I lost 5kg (10lb) before the fight with Kongo, I had a hard time wanting to train and on the day of the fight I thought to myself: Why do I even need this, why am I fighting a guy I have never seen before. I was fed up with it all.

Are you in your old form again?

Everything is alright now. The fire in me is back and I want to fight really bad. I’ve never felt better, I’m in excellent shape. Once I fought for my material excistance now i fight for pride.

Will there be a tv broadcast of your fights from DREAM?

Most certainly.


  1. roy

    February 22, 2008 at 3:29 am

    i hope he wins his next 3 fights and comes back and redeems himself to the ufc fans that think he sucks

  2. shogun5811

    February 22, 2008 at 8:00 am

    most deff agree w/ u bro, mirko is a madman & a way better fighter than he showed in the recent ufc bouts.

    hopefully he also relizes that to compete in the ufc he needs to substantally improve his groundgame cuz theres no tellin where or when he may be taken & kept on the ground. all and all tho, mirko kicks ass & i cant wait to see a revamped mirko in the cage

  3. Morey

    February 22, 2008 at 8:16 am

    I'm looking foward to that Fedor fight he wants for New Years Eve.

  4. tom

    February 22, 2008 at 9:13 am

    i hope he buts up 3 god wins then beats fedor then comes to the ufc and redeems him self also

  5. KOPower

    February 22, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Crocop has been whoopin that ass for years. Now that he is motivated….watch out. Anyone who has seen his old fights knows that this man is dangerous.

  6. dane drebin

    February 22, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    i hope he's true to his word and comes back to the ufc

  7. KOPower

    February 22, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    As long as he doesn't get his ass whooped he will be back in the UFC Dane, for sure.

  8. kom34

    February 23, 2008 at 9:07 am

    i cant wait to see mirko in his old form. he is one of the most exciting fighters to watch when he is throwing big roundhouses to someones head. like he says…"right foot hospital, left foot morgue." he's a bad ass.


    February 23, 2008 at 10:17 am

    I love Cro Crop…but he's just like Liddell, hes a one dimensional fighter (striking)

  10. roy

    February 25, 2008 at 2:43 am

    thats true brandon but in pride he used that to beat alot of ground fighters and at the end had good takedown defense

  11. MuayThai-D

    February 28, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Crocop seems unsure of himself as of late. I really hope he can pull himself together, but he need work on his striking and aggression. In PRIDE, he almost exclusively used the left straight followed by low, mid and high kicks. The left is really one of the only punches he uses, and fighters are figuring that out. It may have worked against Yamamoto, Sanchez and even one of the all-time greats, Wanderlei Silva (in their 2nd fight), but watch the Kongo fight… its no longer enough against the new breed of fighter. Aggression is the key to Mirko's success! He always looses when he backs up. Fedor only won that fight because he was able to keep Mirko– and that deadly left leg– off balance. However if they do meet, Fedor will beat Crocop again because unlike Mirko, Fedor is like a four-star general when it comes to game plans. No one we've ever seen is capable of making and STICKING to a strategy like Fedor (except maybe Randy Couture). Still, seeing Mirko impress American fans for the first time would be great. He is still the only PRIDE Open-Weight Grand Prix Champion after all. (Does anyone you miss the PRIDE tournaments as much as I do?)

  12. James Gallar

    March 20, 2008 at 3:00 am

    why would he want to blemish his record any more by loosing to Fedor? this doesnt make sense. he needs to fight a couple top 10 guys to get his confidense back but does not need to get another ass wooping by the best Fighter in MMA history

  13. a

    August 9, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    I say cro cop vs lesnar. That fight would be good and his striking is good enoughto keep lesnar at bay.

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