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Old 01-02-2007, 08:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Cro Cop talks Pride/UFC

The following is a new Mirko CroCop interview, translated from http://www.jutarnji.hr/sport/borilac..._ufc,56576.jl:

Q: How did the bosses of PRIDE react on the news?
A: I can only say, that I thank PRIDE for the understanding, cooperation and support, especially president N. Sakakibara and director N. Takada.

Q: Many of your fans aren't pleased with you leaving PRIDE?
A: I know that my parting to the UFC hit many, but I'm asking them for understanding in respecting my decision. I think it's the best for me in this phase of my career. I hope all of my fans will understand this and support me further.

Q: What was the reason for your decision?
A: The wish for a change, the wish for new challenges. Until now I went to Japan 42 times in my career, there I achieved a reputation and a name in sport, but the American octagon is still a big new thing (for me). But also the financial proposal of the UFC was better. The Japanese knew they could not come close to the American proposal, therefore they did not try it.

Q: Did you meet the UFC bosses?
A: During my stay in Las Vegas, I met Dana White.

Q: Aren't you dissapointed that you won't fight Fedor Emelianenko anymore?
A: I must admit, that I regret not fighting Fedor. If I would have been healthy and ready, maybe we would have faced each other at New Year's Eve. Still, I believe that the chance for a fight with Fedor isn't lost forever. Maybe we will manage to meet each other in the ring if PRIDE and UFC cooperate.

Q: Whom do you appreciate most of the UFC fighters?
A: Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski are currently the best fighters in the Heavyweight division. In the lighter divisions I especially value Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell. If I would have to pick one in my opionion, that is the former UFC champion Arlovski.

Q: In the eyes of most fans the UFC Heavyweight division is weaker then that of PRIDE.
A: I know that it was weaker until now, but I think the big picture is going to get better.

Q: Have you ever heard of Eddie Sanchez, your next opponent?
A: Until now, I have not. I know he is unbeaten in ultimate fighting, even though that doesn't necessarily mean that he is a world class fighter.

Q: Las Vegas is closer to Hollywood than Tokyo?
A: At the moment I don't have time for movies, I go to the U.S. to fight.
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