It appears Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic’s desire to make a run at the UFC heavyweight title was nothing more than a smokescreen.
Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports reported Saturday afternoon that the Croatian star signed a three-fight deal with Dream, reneging on a promise made to UFC president Dana White to finalize a contract for two more fights in the Octagon.
White confirmed Cro Cop’s deal had only been for one fight and was done over phone and text message. It was the first time he’d made that kind of deal in his time as UFC president.
“Isn’t that a dirty (expletive) thing to do?” railed White. “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.”
After going 1-2 with the promotion in 2007, Cro Cop returned Saturday at UFC 99, where he needed only one round to defeat an overmatched Mustapha Al-Turk. The bout’s ending was indecisive, brought to an abrupt halt by an inadvertent eye poke missed by referee Dan Mirgliotta. Al-Turk turned his back on the fight and was finished by a series of punches while protecting his face.
White said the feared striker turned down several fights, including co-main eventer Cain Velasquez, before accepting the Al-Turk bout.
“He fed me this (expletive) about wanting to take a run for the title, and what I think he did was, he went out and did this,” continued White. “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.”
Cro Cop was MIA at the post-fight press conference for Saturday’s event.
Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for developments on this story as they become available.