Following yesterday’s news that Ben Rothwell has pulled out his fight against Mirko Cro Cop comes a report from Croatian website MMA Axion that Cro Cop has sustained a cut during a training session that required stitches. Despite the minor injury, Cro Cop apparently still wants to fight and declined to pull out of the match against Anthony Perosh.
In the US, a state athletic commission would forbid a fighter from competing under those circumstances, but in Australia, at least to my knowledge, there isn’t a commission that would enforce such rules. That said, the UFC typically assumes the commission’s role overseas and follow the NSAC’s guidelines, so you would think they would have to make the tough decision to pull him off the card.
There is reason to question the validity of the report though. It also said that the UFC asked both Randy Couture and Rampage Jackson to step in for Ben Rothwell before eventually settling on Anthony Perosh. That sounds pretty fishy. Is Randy Couture in Australia? Why would they risk the Rampage-Rashad fight by putting him in with Cro Cop? Is Rampage even close to being in shape? The report said they both declined, but still, I’m having a hard time believing Couture or Rampage was ever on their short list to begin with on basically two days notice.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a swarm of reporters from the MMA media down in Sydney to get to the bottom of this. Kevin Iole is the only one I know of, so hopefully he’s able to do a little digging and find out what’s going on.
Until then, I guess we chock this one up as a rumor and assume the Cro Cop vs. Perosh fight is still on.