If you ever wanted to know why Dana White and the UFC don’t do one-fight deals, or verbal ones for that matter, here’s why.
In a surprising turn of events, Cro Cop informed White following his win over Mostapha Al-Turk that he had signed a three-fight deal with DREAM, meaning he won’t be coming back to the UFC to honor the two remaining fights him and White had worked out verbally. Also, it’s come out now that Dana originally wanted Cro Cop to fight Cain Velasquez but he turned that fight down and ended up with Al-Turk instead. Here’s what Dana had to say about it.
“Isn’t that a dirty [expletive] thing to do?” White asked rhetorically after being queried about Filipovic’s deal with DREAM. “He [expletived] me. The first time in the history of the company I do one over the phone. He promised me a three-fight deal and he [expletived] me.”
“He didn’t keep his word,” White said, who said he’d had a two-hour talk with Filipovic on the day Filipovic texted and asked to be able to return. “He talked about honor and all this other [expletive] and he [expletived] me.
“He fed me this bull [expletive] about wanting to take a run for the title, and what I think he did was, he went out and did this. He turned down every other [expletive] fighter I offered him, because I needed him to fight Cain. He didn’t just poke Al-Turk; he poked me, too.”
After all the talk about only being motivated to prove everyone wrong and make a run at the title, who saw this coming? Obviously not Dana. Without any sort of legal obligation, Cro Cop’s free to do what he wants, but even as a big fan of his, I can’t help but be disappointed. I can get over Cro Cop screwing Dana and the UFC, quite frankly they had it coming after all the fighters they’ve released after one fight, but I’m not cool with Mirko essentially lying to his fans about his motivations and intentions.
There’s two sides to every story though. Maybe Mirko had good reason (although I can’t think of even half of one), and if he did, he needs to explain, because his legacy just took a pair of Kongo knees to the nuts.
Update: Cro Cop’s locker room post-fight interview is up on UFC.com. Here’s what he said.
I don’t know what will happen next. Believe me I don’t know. All I know is tomorrow I’m going home and the day after tomorrow I’m going on a holiday for one week on the coast and that’s all I know for certain. I will speak to Dana White after that. But, definitely there are a few fighters I want to fight—Randy, Nogueira. They’re the top projects for me now, but we’ll see after I speak to Dana.
Not that what he said definitely means anything, but I find it odd that even after the fight he was talking like he definitely had a future in the UFC. He’s never struck me as the type who would just flat out lie outside of one of his pranks. It just seems like we haven’t heard the whole story yet. Or maybe as a fan I’m just hoping that’s the case.
Update II: There’s a lot more to this story. Cro Cop is denying he signed with DREAM. More here.