Croatian reporters from NOVA TV recently caught up with Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic after his two-day stint here in the states, during which time he pounded out a first round stoppage of Eddie Sanchez at UFC 67.
To see the video click here.
If you don't understand Croatian, read the transcript here:
Reporter: First congratulations on your victory, your debit in cage has went in perfect way. How did it all look to you? We were little afraid how all will end for you, since it was new organization, new ring.
Cro Cop: All right, it was little unusual related to the ring, rules themselves are somewhat different so I had to be careful because I could be disqualified because of some things that are allowed in PRIDE and here they are not. But all in all it was OK.
Reporter: Just when he has fallen down, Slaven yelled, "You cannot hit him with legs now."
Cro Cop: I remembered that in time, I was planning to hit him with my knee. Of course, those are new rules that I will accept. Myself personally I like PRIDE rules better, since it is easier for me and for my style of fighting.
Reporter: Edie Sanchez is had a perfect record before the fight. During your fight he was mostly backing away, but he did try to hit you few times but in the end you got him routinely.
Cro Cop: Yes
Reporter: Is there anything you want to add to that? Were you surprised by his fight?
Cro Cop: It was clear that Sanchez was scared and that he was running all the time. I had to chase him around the cage which is huge comparing it to the ring. But what has happened has happened, one more experience for Sanchez.
Reporter: About your entry song, it wasn't regular Wild Boys but PRIDE anthem, was that your choice or organizer choice?
Cro Cop: The organizer can't affect choice of my song, it was decided by me to enter with that song.
Reporter: With some special reason or?
Cro Cop: Well, some things I am keeping for myself.
Reporter: You sad that fight for championship depends on organizers, which is logical. But we have all seen announcement of fight between Tim Sylvia and Randy Couture. Your fans and all of use expect to see you on those promotional posters, do you have any indication when will that happen?
Cro Cop: In some informal talks I learned it should be third fight, eventually fourth with winner of Tim Sylvia and Randy Couture fight. We shall see what will happen.
Reporter: And this second fight; there are speculations that it should be in London or maybe Manchester.
Cro Cop: Yes, it will be in Manchester, those are not speculations.
Reporter: And when exactly will it be?
Cro Cop: 20. April, very soon, little more than two months from now
Reporter: Do you possibly know who will be your opponent?
Cro Cop: That I do not know yet.
Reporter: And how did your encounter with Americans and American Croats in America went, in contrast to Japan?
Cro Cop: Well, it was nice. It is different atmosphere there, arenas are smaller but more compact. It was interesting, they are louder crowd that those in Japan. There were many of our people there. It was lovely altogether there.
Reporter: Crowd even knows to whistle there if fights don't go how they like.
Cro Cop: Yes, that's their American style — they don't forgive you for anything.
Reporter: Tell us, did you meet American Croats outside of complex, or arena?
Cro Cop: I didn't. To be honest I didn't leave complex, I was there for two days but I didn't go out much.
Reporter: Have you talked with organizers after the fight, they surely were satisfied with you, basically that which they wanted they got.
Cro Cop: We had short talk. Immediately after fight I retreated. I was exhausted. Preliminaries for this fight were hard for me. I was constantly struggling with some injuries. Small ones which didn't affect fight itself much, but they were big enough to distract me. For about 20 days I was in injured, and I waited for it all to pass. This was one of hardest fight in my career because of that. There was option to cancel the fight but I didn't want to do that, so we found compromise: I fought but under sedatives. It was really hard for me, not because of my opponent but because of those injuries, really it was never like this before.
Reporter: Will those injuries have any effect in preliminaries for new fight?
Cro Cop: No, I will recover in about ten days than I will start preparing for Manchester
Reporter: Mirko, Manchester after Tokyo and Las Vegas, we can't wait. Best wishes to you in your career.
Cro Cop: Thank you, thank you.
Based on this interview, it seems as though the transition from PRIDE to UFC has not been the easiest. I hope that over time he warms up to the American fans, as well as becomes more comfortable with the rules and various other changes.
I think we learned a lot more from this one quick interview than in all the others combined while Cro Cop was here in the United States.
Huge thanks again to Loken for the translation!