(You take all these precautions in training, and still something bad happens. C’est la vie, old buddy.)
Some ideas are such obviously bad ideas that watching them being methodically put into action is like watching a car crash in slow motion. Certain marriages are like that, as are most of the movies Kevin Smith has made in the last ten years. Now it’s starting to look like the Mirko Filipovic/Anthony Perosh bout at UFC 110 might become MMA’s version of “Jersey Girl.” Only unlike “Jersey Girl” we will all end up watching it.
In the most recent development, a Croation website that looks like a bunch of squiggly lines to us (but apparently makes sense to someone at Fighters Only) is reporting that Cro Cop suffered a cut over his eye in a late sparring session and had to receive several stitches. This doesn’t mean the fight is off, however. Cro Cop reportedly refused to pull out and “let weeks of hard preparation go to waste.” Since there’s no athletic commission to act as the irrefutable voice of reason in this instance, and since the UFC has already demonstrated a willingness to make this fight happen no matter how crazy it becomes, it looks like all systems are still go.
But what about Anthony “The Hippo” Perosh, anyway? What’s going through his head right about now?
According to what he told UFC.com, the answer is a lot of conflicting feelings. When he first got the call from Joe Silva, Perosh said, he was 215 pounds and not preparing for any fights in the immediate future. The UFC offered him the chance to replace Ben Rothwell and make a third UFC appearance after losing his first two back in 2006, and he actually said no at first. So what prompted his change of heart?
“I then went and watched yesterday’s (Thursday) press conference and listened to the comment Dana White made about how many fighters actually turn down opportunities. That just made me realise what a big chance this was. How could I turn down the opportunity to fight on the main card at UFC 110 against one of the best guys in the world? Not only that, the fight takes place on the UFC’s first ever show in Australia. I quickly called Joe Silva back and said, ‘yeah – I’ll do it’.”
That’s right, an inspiring speech from Dana White convinced him to take the fight. We’ll just say it now and then leave it alone, but depending on how this thing turns out it might be remembered as the moment DW’s fiery rhetoric turned a man’s life around, or the moment White’s self-serving platitudes finally got someone killed. The jury’s still out.
The good news for Perosh is that at least now he has a game plan: open up Cro Cop’s cut and then hold on and hope for the best. If Filipovic really is sporting fresh stitches over his eye, it shouldn’t be too hard. If the whole thing turns out to be an elaborate ruse perpetrated by unscrupulous Croatians, he’s in big, big trouble.