cro-copThe UFC invited Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic to enter the octagon for a second tour, even after an unimpressive 1-2 in his first go around. Now they wish they never did.

Cro Cop beat Mustapha al-Turk with a first round TKO at UFC 99, possibly with the help of an eye poke that was not seen by referee Dan Miragliotta. While Cro Cop won in the cage, many will brand him a loser for what was revealed shortly after the fight.

Cro Cop told UFC president Dana White that he would not be returning to the UFC because he had already signed a 3-fight agreement with DREAM. The background here is that White signed Cro Cop to a one-fight deal — something he never does — and had a verbal committment on 2 others.

White had this to say to Yahoo! Sports:

“Isn’t that a dirty [expletive] thing to do?” White asked rhetorically after being queried about Filipovic’s deal with DREAM. “He [expletived] me. The first time in the history of the company I do one over the phone. He promised me a three-fight deal and he [expletived] me.”

While speaking with reporters on a prefight conference call, Filipovic enthused about his return and said he was gunning for a title shot. All the while, he apparently knew he was in it for a one-fight deal.

Cro Cop didn’t impress me in the fight. al-Turk was swinging like he was in a bar fight, and frankly does not look like he belongs in the UFC. While I think Cro Cop would have won anyway, the eye-poke may have helped him to that end.

It’s my opinion that Dana White would be wise to replace Cro Cop with the only fighter he beat in his first stint in the UFC: Eddie Sanchez. Sanchez dominated Jay White at Bellator 6 here in Chicago. He was 3-3 in the UFC and had he been in the ring with Cro Cop at UFC 99, he would have beat him into submission. He certainly is a better fighter than al-Turk.

Now Cro Cop is free to run back to DREAM where maybe he can get a rematch with, I don’t know, the vaunted Hong Man Choi.

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  1. tim

    Jun 14, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Business and pro sports are definitely shady. Dana had said that he really would only trust Cro Cop like this and then when things fell through it looks like the one person Dana thought he could trust had hit the door.
    It was interesting to me that Dana even commented on the no contract deal… Confirming it just made Mirko more valuable to anyone looking to pull one over on the UFC or atleast win a little Press.

  2. Matt

    Jun 14, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Great points Tim.

  3. Mike

    Jun 18, 2009 at 10:19 am

    It’s all business, and Cro Cop honored his 1-fight contract with UFC. I don’t blame Cro Cop for going to Dream if it means he can fight more often, and he has a chance against Fedor. He can’t do that in UFC. Arlovsky and Silvia both left UFC because they wouldn’t have the opportunity to fight Fedor if they stayed.

    I find it hard to believe most things that Dana White says anyway (in reference to a verbal agreement Cro Cop said to DW that he’d do a 3-fight contract with UFC).

    I support Cro Cop no matter where he goes, just as long as he fights 100%. DW just needs to accept that he doesn’t always get his way. I see no wrong-doing that Cro Cop did. People said Cro Cop promised people a run for the UFC heavyweight title. Well, I am sure he is still interested in that, and perhaps DW will let him return. Let’s just support the man.


  5. Dale

    Aug 16, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Congratulations on your well researched article.

    And yes a first round TKO how unimpressive, it’s only like Chuck Liddell used to do all the time when everyone cheered, but still unimpressive. Now he’s only good if Dana White says so.

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