There’s been quite a bit of conflicting information regarding Mirko Cro Cop’s eye injury in the past few days. It’s true, Mirko was poked in the eye during his final sparring session at his gym in Croatia, and it’s a little more serious than initially believed. Fighters Only has the details.
CroCop sent Fighters Only an MMS (picture text message) with a photo of the eye injury taken not long after he sustained the injury. We were asked not to publish the picture but can confirm that CroCop’s eye and face were bloodied, and that the eye was clearly swollen and injured in some way.
He told us that the injury had been diagnosed initially as an abrasion to the cornea, caused when his sparring partner shoved his finger into his eye during “the last minute of the last round of the last day of sparring”. Wry as usual, CroCop remarked that “all I need now is my plane to be hit by lighting and crash into the Atlantic.”
Fortunately, Cro Cop’s plane landed safely in Indiana, however he’s going to have to clear one more obstacle before the fight’s a definite go. He’ll have to pass the standard pre-fight medical exam.
Andy Means, the director of the Indiana Gaming Commission’s athletic division, today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) Filipovic will have a pre-fight medical exam prior to Friday’s weigh-ins.
Means said UFC officials haven’t been in contact specifically about Filipovic’s injury – possibly because the news broke as the Indiana commission’s office was closing for the weekend. Means didn’t want to speculate about the injury or what would prompt doctors to halt the bout, but he said Filipovic will undergo tests as every other competitor does.
“We’ll have our physicians do our pre-bout physicals,” he said. “They’ll be done before the weigh-ins and again prior to the fights (on Saturday). We’ll do them like we always do.”
It’s unknown at this point if the UFC has anyone lined up as a last-minute replacement in case Mirko isn’t cleared, but the commission says they are prepared to process a last-minute substitution if need be.
In the meantime, here’s a little footage of that final sparring session sans the part where Mirko gets his eye poked out. If only he had kept that headgear on…
Update: Sherdog is reporting that Cro Cop has been initially cleared to fight by the commission.
Indiana State Athletic Commission Director Andy Means said Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has already been examined and initially cleared by a commission-approved physician for his headlining bout against Frank Mir at UFC 119 Saturday at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.
“The UFC informed me this afternoon that Cro Cop saw the ophthalmologist today in Indianapolis and that he was cleared to fight. I anticipate seeing the results soon but all indications are that this is a non-issue,” wrote Means in an email to Sherdog.com on Monday. “He will just have to undergo the same pre-fight physical as the other 21 fighters this weekend before the event.“