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Steve Cofield

UFC 119 on tap: Can Cro Cop fight with injured eye?

Steve Cofield
Cagewriter

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It's always something with Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic. His ride with UFC has been tumultuous. Between confusion over reports that he was bailing on the organization after UFC 99 and a litany of prefight injuries, Cro Cop has been an adventure for the promotion.

The latest drama will play out this week. Hopefully it's done by tomorrow or Wednesday.

A Croatian report emerged last week that the main eventer at UFC 119 suffered an eye injury late in his training camp and may have to pull out of his fight against Frank Mir.

Mirko Filipovic may have suffered a serious eye injury in his last training session before flying to Indianapolis. Sources close to the team claim the injury is of a serious nature and could put his UFC 119 with Frank Mir in jeopardy. Cro Cop has allegedly seen by a series of specialist and it's still unclear whether or not he will travel to the United States for the bout.

UFC president Dana White went into damage control on Twitter saying Cro Cop was fine. Then Cro Cop threw more gas on the fire during this quick interview before he boarded a plane for Indianapolis.

"What can I say? I'm leaving for Indianapolis, this is my 70th fight. That's a lot. I had bad luck in preparations," said Cro Cop. "At the last training, in the last minute, I got a pretty bad eye injury. But I think it 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."

Cro Cop says he refuses to back out.

"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. It won't be easy."

Beyond the eye injury, it doesn't sound like Cro Cop is coming into the fight in tip top shape.

"It would be easier for me if I had time to do a full preparation cycle but at the end of the day that's my problem. I accepted the fight under these conditions," said Cro Cop. "I was on vacation when they called me and I just couldn't say no to them. Not because of the money but because of respect to the guys at UFC. They provided me with everything and I secured my life existence fighting for them. To be completely honest, the money was pretty decent and I can assure you that no one would decline that offer."

Cro Cop further confirms the lack of a real training camp when he talked about his conditioning.

"I will try to do my best, more as a routine fight, and if the fight goes to the third round it will be a handicap for me. But you know, that's life and nothing is ideal."

Good for Cro Cop. He stepped up on short notice. He's been a tough dude during his stint with UFC. He took a beating at the hands of Junior Dos Santos and withstood the early pummeling by Pat Barry before emerging with a win. Will he stick it out with an eye injury against Mir?

"Again I have to be honest, when you have 70 fights 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. That's my opinion."

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