Despite defeating Mostapha Al-Turk on Saturday at UFC 99 to fulfill a unique one-fight deal with the promotion, Cro Cop informed UFC President Dana White following the first-round TKO that he had signed a three-fight deal with Japan-based DREAM.
During a media teleconference held last week with White and Cro Cop to discuss the deal, which was made less than a month ago, White said he’d never made such a deal in his nine-year history in the sport, while Cro Cop vowed to make a run at the title.
White made his feelings clear at the post-fight press conference when talking about Cro Cop, who apparently passed on a fight with Cain Velasquez before being matched up with Al-Turk.
“Isn’t that a dirty [expletive] thing to do?” White told Yahoo! Sports. “He [expletive] 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 [expletive] me. He didn’t keep his word. He talked about honor and all this other [expletive] and he [expletive] 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.”
Barring a future reconciliation, the former PRIDE standout Cro Cop ends his UFC career with a 2-2 record.
Cro Cop has not yet commented on the situation and no date has been confirmed for his DREAM debut.
MMAFrenzy.com will pass along updates on this story as they become available.
Update at 12:54 am on 6/15/2009 by Justin:
There is now a report on a Croatian website that is claiming that Cro Cop told them he has not signed with DREAM and was surprised by White’s accusations. According to the article Cro Cop also said:
“I’m not clear why the White (trusted) on rumors instead of talking with me. I was hoping that we will talk about the continuation of cooperation, because the only contentious item (for me is) a long period between performances. I do not want to sit for months at home and wait for that someone called me to fight. However, I am grateful for the opportunity (from) White in Cologne and in spite of his heavy words, I do not see reason to not (reach an) agreement.”
*I translated the page using Google, then paraphrased a bit to make things easier to read in places, indicated by parentheses.
Update at 1:30pm on 6/15/2009 by Kris Karkoski:
USA Today’s Sergio Non confirmed with Mike Kogan, who runs the U.S. operation of Dream’s parent company, Fighting and Entertainment Group, that Cro Cop has signed with DREAM.
[Pictured: Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic]