(Cro Cop vs. Al Turk Props: MMA Linker)
Dana White’s over-the-phone verbal contract with Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic prior to UFC 99 was the first time he’d done a deal with a fighter without getting it in writing, or negotiating in person. We’re guessing it’ll also be his last. The big scandal coming out of Germany after yesterday’s show is the surprise news that Cro Cop had already signed a new three-fight deal with DREAM by the time he stepped into the Octagon against Mostapha Al Turk (video above). Though Cro Cop had previously told White that he wanted to officially sign for two more fights in the UFC and make a run for the heavyweight title, the truth came out following Mirko’s TKO victory via eye-pokes. As you can imagine, DW was seeing red in the post-show press-conference:
According to MMA Junkie, Cro Cop "wanted to fight in Germany and use the UFC bout as a tuneup. He did and is now DREAM bound, but he’ll almost certainly never fight in the UFC again."
Ariel Helwani summed up the feelings of many bitter UFC fans on Yahoo!’s UFC 99 postfight show with Steve Cofield: "Cro Cop was punking all of us. I hope Cro Cop goes on a three fight losing streak and gets the hell out of MMA. He’s a disgrace…He can’t even beat Mostapha Al-Turk without poking him in the eye."
Whatever Filipovic’s motivations were, they certainly didn’t include the desire to test himself against the best heavyweights in the world. (Quick, name three heavyweights currently under contract with DREAM.) The only good that could possibly come of this is if Fedor Emelianenko leaves Affliction after the Josh Barnett fight and signs on with DREAM for a rematch with Filipovic, who he defeated by decision in 2005. Cro Cop could make his next appearance in DREAM as early as next month.