Croatian MMA veteran and legend of the Japanese Pride FC promotion Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic has one of the most storied careers in the sport. Unsurprisingly, he has many interesting and amusing stories of his own.
In the Pride Icon issue of Fighters Only magazine (available now) the former Pride Open-Weight Grand Prix champion speaks exclusively to Fighters Only, looking back on some of his most legendary moments in the now-defunct Asian MMA organisation and shares some fascinating tales.
Read below for small taste of what to expect inside the current edition of FO.
Another famous story has Cro Cop arriving at the Saitama Super Arena one night to discover that the audience is twice the size he was told it would be, at which point he supposedly demanded his purse be doubled to $300,000 or he wouldn’t fight.
“This story came from a lawyer in Japan I used to use but it was bulls**t. He sold stories to a Japanese newspaper and most of it was made up. In reality, if I arrived at the arena and tried to pull a stunt like that, I would have had to learn how to swim in Tokyo Bay with concrete boots on my feet,” he laughs.
“What actually happened was at first I was promised $130,000 and I said I wanted $150,000 because it was a main event fight. They said no. This was about twelve weeks out. Then about eight weeks out I had some bad back pain and my physiotherapist said I should rest for a week or two, to rest it.
“I sent them a copy of his advice and told them I could not take part in the fight. I faxed the written statement of my doctor to them. They called me up and started laughing. They said, ‘Okay, okay, we will give you $150,000”.
“And I said ‘No, I don’t think you understand. I am in pain. So now the price is $300,000.’ They said, ‘Oh no, no, we cannot,’ and I said, ‘Okay guys, well you have more than enough time to find a replacement for me, good luck.’
“They kept calling me, then they sent me the plane tickets to fly to Tokyo. I said, ‘Why have you sent me this? I am not coming.’ Then they said ‘Okay, we will pay you $300,000.’”
For the full interview with Mirko ‘Cro Cop’, get the Pride Icon issue of Fighters Only magazine – on sale now!