While Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic managed to end up in the win column once again this past Saturday evening at UFC 110 with a doctor’s stoppage victory over journeyman Anthony Perosh in Australia, I personally remain far from convinced that the once widely feared Croatian is anything more than a shell of his former terrifying self.
It seemed apparent that Cro Cop was gun-shy in the bout with Perosh, as the vicious left high kick the Pride veteran is known for was nowhere in sight. However, according to Filipovic it had little to do with the commonly accepted belief that he lost something when he was kicked off-side the skull by Gabriel Gonzaga several years ago that he is likely never to get back, and everything to do with Mirko feeling “sorry” for his recent victim.
“I am very sorry that I had to hurt Perosh,” said Mirko in a recent conversation with Fighters Only. “I tried to fight with as much consideration for him as I could. I even avoided the ground because I am 7, 8 kilos heavier than he is.
“I just couldn’t do that to him when he was so bloody.”
These recent statements by Cro Cop are more than a little bothersome in my opinion. Mirko is “sorry” he had to hurt Perosh? He tried to fight with as much “consideration” as he could?
Does Filipovic remember that he’s in the BUSINESS of hurting people? There’s no use for words such as “sorry” or “consideration” in this sport. Or phrases such as, “I just couldn’t hurt him anymore when he was so bloody”.
Reality check: MMA is a brutal sport where people are going to get bloody. Believe it or not, fighters that have been bloodied up have come back to send their opponent to the emergency room on hundreds of occasions.
Now before everyone jumps in and tells me that Perosh is a fellow Croatian and has helped to train Mirko’s team mates in the past, let me tell you that I don’t care. Mirko and Anthony didn’t grow up together. They’re not drunk texting one another or catching up at the local night spots in Zagreb.
If Perosh had an opportunity to choke Cro Cop to an unconscious stupor, do you think Mirko’s Croatian bloodline would have held him back for one moment? I’d like to hope not, for his sake.
It’s always been my belief that the best way to respect and honor your opponent would be to try to finish him as quickly and violently as possible. If a man is going to suffer a defeat to another man in agreed battle, I’m sure the loser would like to know that the victor did everything he could to conquer him. Not that they “held back”.
Plus, if you’re convinced that you’re really THAT much better than your opponent – who you really, really respect – why not finish them as soon as possible as opposed to putting a prolongued, drawn out beating on your compadre?
Furthermore, to state that you basically took it easy on your opponent is an excuse for a lackluster performance. How exactly does Cro Cop stating that he didn’t want to hurt Perosh make Anthony look? It’s basically Mirko stating that he could have decimated Perosh if he felt like it. Don’t talk about it, be about it.
The fact of the matter is that this is far from the first time that Filipovic’s ability to pull the trigger like he used to has been drawn into question, and it’s for good reason, but to believe that Mirko COULD HAVE looked more impressive than he did is nothing but talk, and at the core, flat-out disrespectful.