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19/02/10 - Report: CroCop cut in sparring, required stitches, still fighting UFC 110
Just 24 hours after learning that his kickboxer opponent Ben Rothwell is out ot UFC 110 and will be replaced by a ground fighter, Mirko ‘CroCop’ Filipovic has reportedly had more bad news. According to sources in Croatia, he has received a bad cut in a pre-fight sparring workout and has had to have stitches.
Croatian website MMA Axion reported this morning that Filipovic was sparring with his team mate Sasa Mucnjak when he received a bad cut above the eyeline. The cut was stitched and Filipovic has declined to pull out of the fight, saying he will not let weeks of hard preparation go to waste.
But those weeks of hard preparation were to face a kickboxing stylist and yesterday Ben Rothwell was pulled off the card because of an infection and replaced by Anthony Perosh, a second-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and a completely different style to Rothwell.
The UFC allegedly asked Randy Couture and Quinton ‘Ramapge’ Jackson if they would take the fight with Filipovic at short notice but both turned it down flat. Perosh - who has an 0-2 record in the UFC from 2006 - took it on two days notice on the understanding he would get a four-fight contract out of it.
As much of an upset as a last-minute change of opponent is, a freshly-stitched cut is even worse and Filipovic is taking a real risk entering the cage with a cut is likely to open up again from even light contact. Perosh is still the underdog in this fight by a long way, but the odds are not as wide as they were yesterday.