(Man, those were the days.)
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic responded yesterday to recent comments Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira‘s boxing coach Luis Dorea made in which the Brazilian trainer called for a rematch between his fighter and the Croatian PRIDE veteran.
Dorea told Tatame last week that he would love to see the two former PRIDE legends square off one more time before they retire and that the match-up would be a perfect first bout back for Nogueira, who has been sidelined several months after undergoing double-knee surgery in 2010.
“I’d like to see him fighting [Mirko] Cro Cop. If it doesn’t happen in August, it can be in September, October… But it’s a fight I’d like to see. I’ve seen Cro Cop saying things about it, saying he’d like to fight Rodrigo. They’re two legends, two big names… It really would be an interesting fight to watch in MMA. As for the when, to me, it’ll only happen in August if he’s 100% healed. Rodrigo has a big heart, he really loves doing it and he’s fought while not 100% for his fans, because of his commitment, because he respects UFC, so he has fought while injured. Rodrigo is sick now; he’s injured, he’s having fevers… But, as he always overcomes his own obstacles,” Dorea explained. “Rodrigo is an example to be followed inside and outside the Octagon for the things he does. Minotauro shows a lot confidence for us, but now, for him to get into a fight, he has to be 100% healed. He’ll only fight in August if he’s 100%”. He has a full team of physiotherapists helping him, and he’s doing great on his healing process… But it’s a fight we’d like to see: Cro Cop vs. Rodrigo.”
Cro Cop was contacted by Fighters Only yesterday and he told the UK-based magazine’s web editor, John Joe O’Regan, that he would gladly accept the bout and said he would love to do it in Brazil in August on the UFC 134 card set for Rio de Janeiro.
“Yes I saw the comments made by Nogueira’s boxing coach and I agree,” Filipovic stated via text message. “I am ready to fight Nogueira any time, even in Brazil in August.”
Filipovic is 0-2 in his last two outings with both losses coming by way of devastating knockout. In his last bout against Brendan Schaub at UFC 128 he was holding his own against the former TUF 10 contestant, but with just 1:16 remaining in in the fight he walked into a counter-punch that left him sprawled out on the canvas wondering where he was and asking, “What just happened?”
When asked afterwards if the fight with Schaub would be Filipovic’s last in the Octagon, UFC president Dana White said, “Yeah, I’d probably have to say that’s the last time we see Mirko “Cro Cop” fight [in the UFC] again,” but if we’ve learned anything from White, it’s that nothing he says is set in stone, so you never know.