Earlier this week, while talking to Steve Cofield on ESPN1100Radio, Dana left the door slightly cracked for Cro Cop to return to the UFC despite reports claiming Mirko had already signed to fight “Mighty Mo” at DREAM.10. Well, Lorenzo Feritta just blew that door right off it’s hinges. He must want Cro Cop bad, because he personally flew to Croatia, met with him at his residence this morning, and made he him an offer he can’t refuse, according to a report on Index.hr (via Fighters Only).
Fertitta arrived in Zagreb, Croatia on a private plane this morning and proceeded straight to Filipovic’s residence where the pair engaged in two hours of talks, according to Index.hr
“A source tells us that CroCop got an offer that is simply non-refusable,” the article states. “CroCop will almost certainly look at the returning to the strongest MMA league in the world currently knows.”
But Index.hr is reporting that the UFC is offering Filipovic more favourable terms. This could include an agreement to offer him more frequent fights than were previously on the table.
Wow, who saw that coming? It’s a move that almost defies logic. Cro Cop hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire in recent years, not to mention the fact that he pissed off Dana which typically results in a permanent spot on the UFC’s blacklist. And now Lorenzo Fertitta, who we only hear about getting involved in the UFC’s biggest signings, personally meets with Mirko at his home in Zagreb? Crazy, the only thing that makes sense to me is Cro Cop is that valuable to them overseas in their global expansion efforts.
By the way, it kind of makes you wonder if that salmonella poisoning story that caused him to cancel his DREAM.10 fight was just a cover.
There must be more to this story. I’ll update this post when more information becomes available.
Image courtesy of CombatLifestyle.com
Update: Our good friend Robert K from Betwwx.com, who’s been a solid Croatian translator/news liaison to us and many of the other MMA websites, has an update on the Cro Cop-UFC story. He confirmed they want Cro Cop because of his international drawing power, something most of the UFC’s current stars lack. Apparently, Cro Cop’s presence on the Germany card really helped turn it around, which Cro Cop and his team are aware of. As far as the offer goes, nothing has been signed yet, but negotiations are ongoing.
Robert also confirmed that Cro Cop was in fact hospitalized for salmonella poisoning, so please ignore my thinking out loud above. My skepticism got the better of me, my bad.