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Mauro Ranallo reflects on PRIDE prank: 'I was honored to be punked by Mirko Cro Cop'

It happened over 12 years ago, but Ranallo still gets asked about the time Bas Rutten and Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic got one over on him during a backstage interview while working for PRIDE.

Legendary combat sports broadcaster Mauro Ranallo will be teaming up with his old friend and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) hall of famer, Bas Rutten, when he makes his debut on "Inside MMA" later tonight (March 25, 2016).

Ranallo, 46, currently has a weekly podcast with "El Guapo" called "Rutten and Ranallo," and the two began working together for PRIDE Fighting Championships in Japan back in 2003. That was the Canadian broadcaster's first gig in mixed martial arts (MMA) and the two quickly became close friends calling all the action for PRIDE.

In one of the more memorable moments during that time, Rutten orchestrated a prank where Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic got mad at Ranallo during a backstage interview. Ranallo fell for it hook, line, and sinker and they had quite a laugh at his expense. He was, of course, a good sport about it and it became an immensely popular and memorable moment.

The video went viral and to this day he still has fans asking him about it.

"It's funny because now with social media being so prominent I still get maybe once or a couple of times a week where someone will discover that for the first time and tweet me 'that is the funniest thing I've ever seen,'" Ranallo told MMAmania.com. "Kudos to Bas, but even more so I was honored to be punked by Mirko Cro Cop, but I think it showed his fans a different side of him and I think it helped Mirko Cro Cop. It was a bit of a viral thing at the time, but I think it showed that he has a good sense of humor and he's a good actor when he wants to be and it's amazing that 12 years later people still remind me of the prank, the punk in Japan. Honored to be a part of it."

Now that he and Rutten are back working together, does he have his antenna raised so he won't get punked again?

"I always have to be on my toes around Bas Rutten," he said. "The one good thing is he is now a grandfather and a happily married man with two beautiful daughters here in America. The one thing about Bas that I have noticed is as much as he is still the crazy El Guapo, his partying days I think aren't as prominent and he's become a real… I always knew this anyway, but as much as a badass as he is and one of the scariest and most intimidating men on earth, the other side is you won't find a sweeter human being. It's a blessing to call him a colleague, but even more so to call him a friend."

Perhaps we will see Ranallo  turn the tide on his pal after all these years and get some payback with a prank of his own.

"Don't you think those wheels are already turning my man. They are. They are."

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