Despite looking like a masochist, Cro-Cop is probably a healthy hedonist who is ready for his final round

There is no doubt a dirty little overlap between hedonism and masochism, where the two meet in that grey zone where self-harm can be experienced as pleasure.  Of course, masochism traditionally has a sexual connotation, but the experience of deriving pleasure from one’s own pain can exist as a perfectly tame pattern of self-defeating behavior.  So when Mirko Cro-Cop explained on Facebook that he is returning to the twice-disappointing UFC for his “own pleasure,” one couldn’t help wondering if he’s got a touch of masochism flitting about in his otherwise hedonistic Croatian brain-stream.      

“I didn’t sign because of a huge contract, but exclusively for my own pleasure,” he typed. “I can’t wait for my fight for which I’ll be ready as a beast! I owe that to myself and my fans. I got a chance to, in a sports sense, right some things, if I can do that, great, if not, still good, at least I’ll know that I tried and that I gave it my all.”   

Still, other than these returns to the poisoned well, there is really no evidence that Cro-Cop is a neurotic maniac bent on self-destruction.  He’s not drinking makeshift potato vodka in a jail cell next to Alexander Emelianenko, for instance.  He’s always been a healthy, intelligent and non-controversial figure.  And importantly, his fight against Pat Barry at UFC 115 probably best illustrated why Mirko’s love for fighting isn’t some backwards illusion.  Even though Barry knocked Cro-Cop down twice in the first round, the Croatian responded by giving Barry high-fives.  They even paused mid-fight to embrace, upsetting fans who thought a more aggressive Barry could have finished Mirko early.  But despite those jarring shows of post-traumatic affection, Cro-Cop obliterated his wounded friend in the third, proving that his compulsion towards victory outweighed his pleasure in defeat.

The Barry fight may have been a synchronistic blueprint for Mirko’s later career, a prophetic microcosm of sorts.  After all, he was knocked down twice by Barry, and he has been twice knocked away from the UFC.  But despite appearing to some like a man who can’t resist the allure of an abusive ex-lover, Cro-Cop is probably just a persistent warrior who knows he can still win in the third round.

Published on February 9, 2015 at 9:08 pm
Stay up-to-date with the latest MMA news, rumors, and updates by following the RED Monster on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Also, don't forget to add MiddleEasy to your Google News feed Follow us on Google News for even more coverage.


Leave a Comment