New Cro Cop interview, with a new video
I: after a 10 year career and 5 years of PRIDE you have a new challenge: the UFC. Is it something new, different and unknown or not?
Crocop:It is not like that. Ultimate fight is ultimate fight. The rules are slightly different than Pride's, we don't fight in the ring but in the octagon or „cage“. It is somewhat dangerous to fall near the cage borders because of the wire but I will learn that aspect very soon.
I: About the heavyweight fighters in the UFC in comparison to PRIDE heavyweights: most of our viewers already know Fedor and Minotauro and know what a victory against them means, how about Eddie Sanchez and the champions that are waiting for you next like Sylvia or Arlovski, Americans, Byelorussians? How much do you know about them, how dangerous are they in comparison to the Pride’s heavyweights?
Crocop: Well, I think that currently the Pride’s heavyweights are slightly better, the names are “bigger”. From Fedor, Minotaouro, Kharitonov, Alexander, Barnett but I must not underestimate anyone. There are top class fighters in the UFC as well like Arlovski who is a TOP fighter and Tim Sylvia.
I: Sylvia is the current champion?
Crocop:He is the current champion, (pause) and we’ll go to fight.
I: Eddie Sanchez?
Crocop: Eddie Sanchez is one, as far as I saw, very solid fighter. He has a perfect score: 8 fights without a loss. I hope he will have his first loss on Saturday. As always I will give my best and won’t underestimate him.
I: What were the reasons that made you choose the UFC? What is really your motivation after winning the Pride’s OWGP championship?
Crocop:To be honest, I was a little satiated by always the same market, the event centers are always the same, my trips to Japan, while Las Vegas is a challenge and every athlete in combat sports wants to go there. The famous Mandalay bay, MGM Grand where, they say, even today live the ghosts of Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and “The Left Uppercut” Mike Tyson. So this really has to be witnessed, it is a special atmosphere and before my combat retirement I wanted to try doing some fights there. That was the crucial reason I chose to go there.
I: In Japan you are already a icon, they know you in the US? You have been to the announcement?
Crocop: I think Americans know a lot and are informed especially through Pay-per-view but now it will be even more popular with my arrival at the UFC. (Translator’s note: the meaning is intended that HE WILL become more popular in the US)
I: Is there anything more about Eddie Sanchez? We said he has 8 wins and 0 losses. He’s waiting for you on Saturday. Do you know anything else about him other than his score?
Crocop:I watched 2 of his fights. He is a brave fighter who comes forward. He is not scared. He’s a stand-up fighter as far as I saw. He tends to avoid taking the fight to the ground. He is a good striker both from the hands and legs, but this kind of fighting is “my home” and I don’t think there should be any problems, although I will repeat it: I respect him as a fighter and will give my best to win.
I: You have been fighting all your life in Japan. Everybody already knows the travel itinerary: you depart on Thursday and fight on Sundays. Now it is on the other side of the world in a totally opposite time-zone. Have you taken into account the time differences and what does this mean to you since the fight will be at 4 in the morning ?(Translator’s note: according to Croatian time-zone)
Crocop: I don’t think so because the trip to the west is easier for the body. For someone who is used to European time-zone it will be easier to travel to the US than to Japan.
I: Have you continued the collaboration with your trainers and professor Jukic?
Crocop:The team remains the same. I am very satisfied with them and we go forward.
I: Can you address something to the viewers? The match is about 3:30 in the morning, can you promise a fast win?
Crocop: I will not underestimate anyone, neither Eddie Sanchez. I expect a win, and we will see how the fight evolves. I expect fan support from the homeland and I think the support will be at the combat arena as well. I have received a lot of information from Croatian communities in America who have already confirmed their arrival in Las Vegas, thus there should be much more support in the stands than in Japan.
Translator's note: Crocop said about 5 times that he will not underestimate Eddie Sanchez, so dear Eddie, I fear for your health!
(Cro Cop rolls with Werdum in the video)