moderator @ [email protected] sent along the following:
From today’s edition of Sportske Novosti (biggest cro sport daily):
At that time Dana was very pleased with the deal he just made. He stole Mirko from Japanese and by doing so he did a big favor to himself, to UFC and to sport. As it turned out the deal did not end as expected. But Dana brought to UFC all important MMA fighters, only one still expected is Fjodor.
White is an open man. He is not afraid to say what he means, but at the same time he knows how to handle journalists and media, because he knows how important media is for the sport.
Loss of mental focus…
Mirko lost his second fight in the row last month and Dana did not attend press conference after the fight . We wanted to interview him at that time but UFC’s spokesmen Jennifer Wenk offered us
give her the questions and “answers will follow in shortest possible timeframe”. Even though we expected never to receive those answers, we were wrong…
Firstly we wanted to know if Mirko is going to fight three more times as obligated by his contract.
– “I spoke with him few days ago, I think it was a great conversation after which I can say: `Yes you will see Mirko in UFC again.'”
When? We heard some rumors that he is coming back on December 29th in Las Vegas?
– “No he won’t fight then. He is coming back to cage next year.”
Hardly anyone expected him to lose twice in a row?
– “Mirko admitted me that he lost the mental focus a while ago. He made it clear that he wasn’t satisfied with few of his last fights. He had some sort of nose surgery and he told me, no he guaranteed me, that he will be back in full shape.”
After his last loss, speculations of Mirko’s retirement were wide spread.
– “I respect Mirko both as a person and as a fighter. We all like to badmouth our heroes when things are not going well for them. For years he was one of the best fighters in the world. Now he lost twice in a row, and everyone says he is done, despite all the victories he has on his record.
This sport is very competitive and you have to be very talented to compete. Anything can happen to anyone on any given day. If Mirko tells me he has the will and desire to fight, then I will be glad that he is here in the UFC.”
When he signed the contract everyone expected him to fight for the tile?
– “This is a fight sport. Anything is possible. We expected him do deserve a title shot after few fights, but it didn’t happen.”
What are the future plans (regarding Mirko)? Can UFC do something to bring old Cro Cop back?
– “I don’t know the name of his next opponent, out HW division is crowded the days, but I do know that there is nothing I can do to bring Mirko back. That’s his job!”
We agree with Dana here, it depends on Cro Cop and Cro Cop alone. But at least now we know that we are going to see him in cage again.
In a separate frame are the questions NOT about Mirko:
UFC had events in England and the next foreign country UFC will hold event in is Canada. And the biggest priority after that is Germany and Mexico. MMA is becoming more popular every day. Even a billionaire Mark Cuban, owner of Dallas Mavericks, is entering the world of MMA:
– “I don’t think he can be a threat to UFC.”
What about other countries?
– “We have a global plan. At the moment we are selling UFC shows in 150 different countries. We want to go world wide and Croatia is definitely one of those places that we would like hold a show in.”