Getting hit with a left high kick from Mirko Cro Cop must be the same feeling you felt when your idiot friend tripped over your NES controller and yanked everything out of the socket just as you were about to finish Dr. Wiley in Mega Man 2 (don’t act like that hasn’t happened to you).
Last weekend, Index.hr reported that Cro Cop suffered a severe eye injury in training and that his UFC 119 bout may be in jeopardy. Everyone hopped on the report, Cro Cop’s camp denied it and everyone assumed that the Croatian site trolled the MMA world. News slowly leaked that Cro Cop did indeed suffer an eye injury but he never intended to pull out of the UFC 119 main event. Just as Cro Cop was boarding an airplane to the US, he took the time to explain exactly what transpired with his orbital socket in the past few days. Props to Whoami for the translation.
“What can I say. I’m leaving for Indianapolis, this is my 70th fight (37 MMA, 33 K1). Thats a lot. I had bad luck in preparations. At the last training, in the last minute i got pretty bad eye injury. But I think it I will be alright. I have to suck it up. I didn’t want to cancel the fight under any circumstances. I took this fight to do a favor to UFC. I wouldn’t do that fight for anybody else than UFC. I was on vacation when they called me and I just couldn’t say no to them. Not because of the money (which is pretty decent) but because of respect to the guys at UFC. They provided me with everything and I secured my life existence fighting for them. I owe them and the fans a lot even tough i earned every penny by myself. I got few suggestions, after the eye injury, to cancel the fight but i didn’t want to hear about them.”
“To be completely honest the money was pretty decent and I can assure you that no one would decline that offer.”
“I will try to do my best, more as routine fight, and if the fight goes to the 3rd round it will be handicap for me. But you know, thats life and nothing is ideal. I will took all responsibility but i just wanted to clarified the reasons why I accepted the fight.”
“I am ready to take the risk but I can say you this, all the money in the world is not worth getting my eye injured but at this point there is no chance in hell to back up. Frank Mir is gonna be my toughest fight in my UFC career (great fighter). It wont be easy. It would be easier for me if I had time to do a full preparation cycle but at the end of the day thats my problem. I accepted the fight under these conditions.
Again I have to be honest, when you have 70 fight under your belt your priorities change. There is a fear of injuries but I assure I will give my best. I will most certainly go for a win but I think I did a lot just by accepting this fight. Thats my opinion.”
Cro Cop isn’t quite cleared to fight just yet. When he arrives in Indianapolis, he will have to undergo a pre-fight medical clearance and judging by the thickness of the sunglasses he wore inside the airport in Croatia, the guy’s eyeball may be dangling out of his socket for all we know. [Source]