(Thanks to a traditional Croatian remedy, CroCop’s eye will be just fine. PicProps: Sportal.hr)
This week’s rumors that Mirko CroCop would withdraw from UFC 119 due to injury were indeed greatly exaggerated, but reports that the UFC and Pride vet suffered a mishap in training contain at least a modicum of truth, according to the fighter himself. CroCop told the Croatian sports website Sportal.hr on Saturday that he did take a blow to the eyeball while making final preparations for his fight with Frank Mir next weekend, but assured everyone it’s not something we need to worry our pretty little heads over.
“I got hit in the eye, but nothing scary,” CroCop said, with thanks to MMABay (or somebody) for the translation. “This isn’t the first nor the last punch like that. It won’t stop me from traveling to fight, and to fight next Saturday against Frank Mir.”
Well, phew. The false injury report is fast becoming one of MMA’s most annoying memes, especially when it comes from a newsgathering service with more credibility than say, some 15-year-old kid with a Bleacher Report account. In this instance, it was Index.hr – which we’ve been led to believe is one of Croatia’s largest and most respected new portals – reporting that CroCop would not be able to compete against Mir next Saturday.
The website, in fact, was fairly detailed in its claim that Cro Cop had been working out with “normal training partners Igor Kolakusic, Ivan Hippolyte and Dean Lister in Zagreb, Croatia” this week when the injury occurred. It also reported that the fighter visited several eye specialists, but was unable to get clearance to fight.
In the immediate wake of the story, UFC President Dana White took to his Twitter account to assure us all: "Cro cop is fine. Rumor is not true."
Now it appears that the real, true truth is probably something in between. We’re going to assume that CroCop did get hurt, did go to the doctor (because frankly that seems like a weird detail for Indedx.hr to just make up), but that he’s well enough to fight.
Considering how tired and haggard he appeared during an interview with Joe Rogan during this week’s UFN 22 broadcast, we hope this injury will not affect him next weekend. He’s going to need all the help he can get against Mir.