Now that UFC 70 has settled in interviews are starting to surface about various things but the biggest topic is Cro Cop’s loss to Gabriel Gonzaga. The LA Times got in touch with UFC President Dana White to get his opinion on the loss as well as Mirko’s contract and his previously destined bout with current heavyweight champion Randy Couture:
“I actually favored Gonzaga in that fight. I didn’t favor him by head kick though. You can’t [book fights] like you do in boxing. You can’t build a guy up to 39-0 with 39 knockouts. Anything can happen/ You’re always at risk in this sport. I don’t even think like that any more. I didn’t think it was guaranteed we were going to get to Cro Cop-Couture. There are no guarantees. Cro Cop’s guys wanted to have a couple fights before they fought Randy Couture. And to be honest with you I think they wanted the fights to milk the contract. Over the years we’ve had guys that have gone in and dominated â€“ Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes, Rich Franklin was on a streak there for a while. There are guys that can do it. But also what makes it so fun is the unpredictability. Think of some of boxing’s biggest fights. People used to love to see Mike Tyson come out and crush people in a minute thirty of the first round. But then it got to the point where you didn’t know what was going to happen with Mike after Buster Douglas beat him. Anyone could win, and it was definitely more compelling.”
Not only did Dana address what happened but he also talked about what Cro Cop will be doing next:
“No idea. I don’t even know what he wants to do next,” White said. “I’ll have to talk to his people, see what he’s thinking, see where his head is, no pun intended. I think he needs to go out and fight a big name guy. Gonzaga’s an awesome fighter but nobody knew who he was.”
So it looks like in the interim (after he heals up of course) Mirko will face someone a little higher up the UFC rankings in regards to publicity. We will have to see what names get thrown around for his next bout but if Dana makes good on these statements it looks like it will be someone well known. There is no possibility Cro Cop could earn a title shot before mid-2008 because the line for shots at the belt is ever growing with Gabriel Gonzaga up first quickly followed by Andrei Arlovski who will fight the winner of Couture/Gonzaga either in late-2007 or early-2008.