“I’m sorry like a dog! I could eat myself alive! I can only congratulate Mir, he really caught me with that knee. But taking all circumstances in to consideration I think I did a pretty decent job. Its too bad because there was only a minute left to go [when I was stopped]. I had him against the fence and that was my chance… The deal with my coach was not to go in any hard exchanges until the third round because I thought I was not as prepared as him. But it turned out that I was more prepared than him. I felt more powerful than him in the third and I went after him aggressively. Too bad I caught that knee, but that’s what this sport is about. I want to thank everybody for their support and apologize to the ones I’ve disappointed.”
I love Mirko and all, but I don’t think he understands that his fans aren’t disappointed with the knockout loss, we’re disappointed with how he fought in the 14 minutes before it. He may not be in peak form anymore, but Cro Cop still has the physical tools to compete at this level. For whatever reason though, he just doesn’t pull the trigger like he used to. He showed glimpses of his former self when he unleashed a wicked combo on Pat Barry near the end of their fight, but moments like those are few and far between. Instead, it seems like he’s just going through the motions to collect a paycheck, and if that’s the case, I’d rather he just retire.
It doesn’t sound like he will though. According to the story, he expects to fight for the UFC again sometime next year.
One last thing: Mirko revealed their brief conversation/negotiation heard late in the fight.
Cro Cop: Let me go, lets go to the center and fight
Mir: Let’s go to the mat
Cro Cop: OK – if I’m on top
Mir: We’ll stay in the clinch
Image via Sherdog
Update: More comments from Mirko when he returned to Zagreb. The gist of his comments via BE:
“I had many injuries, leg and back. I was sick, lost 6.5 kg while I was in Indianapolis. I could not push any harder. It turns out I was in better shape than (Frank Mir). Mir did not want dynamic fight. I was told not to push it till the third round. I was going to spend last two minutes attacking. I did not see the knee. I will definitely not fight again this year. I have options for 2 more fights, knowing myself I will do both.”