Mirko Cro Cop: Some days you're the pigeon, some days you're the statue

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Props: USA Today

Quoteworthy:

"... fighters are becoming more and more and more complete than it was before. But to get to victory today, in this competition, you also must have your day. It doesn't mean that I am looking for excuse, but sometimes you just don't feel good.... I remember in this preparation, there was a day that my sparring partners were beating me up. Next day I came and I knocked them out, all of them -- just like that, you know? I just feel good that day. Some other day, I don't feel good, and when it happens on the fight, then you are in trouble. But of course, I did everything I could to prepare myself, to put my body in the best possible shape. I trained good, hard for this fight and I will do my best. I'm sure Pat will do his best, and so we will see.... I don't think my stand-up has changed. Thank God finally I recovered completely because I had a very bad injury three years ago. ... The knee was completely broken, I had three surgeries for the knee and of course it reflected on my kicking. I was afraid to kick. ... but I decided to take the risk for the Cologne fight one year ago.... I am just a fighter. I like the sport. I like fighting; I like competition. But obviously you need to make decisions with the head, not the heart. ... The leg is finally completely recovered. It was very hard injury, you know, so it really took time. Now it is one-and-a-half years since I had the operation, and now it's finally OK. Now it's finally OK."

Pride FC 2006 Open Weight Grand Prix Champion, Mirko Cro Cop -- who was once considered among the most feared and dangerous strikers in mixed martial arts -- talks about his recent struggles inside the Octagon (3-3). He has certainly looked like a shell of his former self since joining the promotion a few years ago, seemingly unable to pull the trigger on his devastating kickboxing skills. He claims that in addition to getting used to the nuances of fighting inside a cage, he was also never really healed from a devastating knee injury that required three surgeries to repair. The Croatian also claims that some days, whether you're healthy or hurt, just don't go the way you want them to go. So can we finally expect to see the return of the "old" Mirko Cro Crop when he tangles with Pat Barry next weekend or is he simply, well, just old?

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