CroCop Almost Didn't Fight At UFC 67, PRIDE Music

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The following is a new post-UFC 67 interview with Mirko CroCop from Mirko-CroCop.com:

What was your first impression after your UFC debut? Mirko: It was all a bit weird to me. The rules are different too. Some things are allowed, some are not; but, it was OK.

In Nevada, knees and kicks aren't allowed to fighters with their knees on the mat. Having fought mostly in Japan, is it difficult to adjust? Mirko: Yeah, I kept in mind that I couldn't use my knees and kicks. The rules of the game are different; and, I need to adjust. For me it's easier to fight under PRIDE rules; but, I'll do fine.

What do you think of your first UFC opponent, Eddie Sanchez? Mirko: I think Sanchez was scared a bit, constantly backpedaling, running away from me. I was forced to chase him around.

Why was PRIDE's theme played as your entrance song? I made that call because of reasons I'd like to keep to myself.

When will you fight for the UFC title? Mirko: Third fight probably, or maybe even fourth. Against Sylvia or Couture, we'll see.

When is your next fight? Mirko: In Manchester on April 20th. I don't know who my next opponent will be yet.

What do you think about the support shown from U.S. Croatians? Mirko: It was really nice. The atmosphere was different; the event venue was smaller; but, it was very interesting. The fans are much louder than the crowd in Japan.

Did you have some problems with injuries? Mirko: A few minor injuries were troubling me, nothing too serious, but enough to distract my focus from the fight. I've had trouble with injuries for the past 20 days. This was one of the toughest fights for me because I had my left leg drained at Dr. Bucan's clinic just 10 days ago. We considered canceling the fight; and, even Dr. Bucan suggested I should skip the fight. It was tough for me, not because of Eddie Sanchez, but because of all those injuries. I had problems with my left ankle and both shins; plus, the big toe on my right foot was swollen. Nothing too serious, but it ruined my focus on the fight; and, I felt really bad.

Do you prefer PRIDE or UFC? Mirko: Well, there are some things that are different from a promotional aspect; but, I don't want to make any comments. I'm a UFC fighter now; and, that's it. Both organizations have done a terrific job. Some things are different, like the crowd. They “boo” if the fight isn't interesting. In Japan, they don't do that.

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