Mild Question Mark Currently Surrounding Saturday’s UFC 119 Main Event at Conseco by wesreynolds

by Wes Reynolds

UFC President Dana White said earlier today that Mirko Cro Cop did get poked in the eye a few days ago during a sparring session and has blood in his eye. However, Cro Cop did contact UFC immediately after the injury and his ophthalmologist cleared him to fight.  They also took X-rays which were shown to the UFC’s doctors located in Las Vegas where the UFC is also headquartered. The doctors viewed the X-rays and said there was no sign of a structural injury.  White said that as soon as Cro Cop lands in Indianapolis, they are going to put him through a battery of tests, but he is cleared to fight as of now.

Remember that this card already had one main event change when Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was forced to pull out of the fight with Frank Mir due to a knee injury. If Mirko cannot fight, this would be a disaster for this show and force the UFC to scramble on very short notice to find a replacement. However, he is still scheduled to fight this Saturday night as of today.

The bigger story in UFC that broke today is the news that Chael Sonnen received a positive drug test from his August 8 fight with UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva.

According to a report today by Greg Savage of, Chael Sonnen failed a drug test taken from his 8/8 fight with Anderson Silva in Oakland for the UFC middleweight title.

The report lists George Dodd, the new Executive Officer of the California State Athletic Commission, as the source, who mentioned it to Savage at last night’s Shane Mosley vs. Sergio Mora boxing match at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Sonnen was also told on Friday about the positive test result.

If this was a positive test for a recreational drug like marijuana or cocaine, the results would have come back a while ago. Therefore, this result would indicate a performance enhancing drug test, which in California brings a one year suspension.  This would also eliminate the planned Silva vs. Sonnen rematch for early next year, which, with the exception of heavyweight title fights involving Brock Lesnar, looked to be the biggest money-making match the company had on the table.

Chael Sonnen had won a ton of new fans from his superb performance in defeat against arguably the #1 pound-for-pound best mixed martial artist in the world. This does tremendous damage to his reputation and absolutely kills not only his own momentum, but the momentum for this potential megafight.


CroCop replaces Nogueira in UFC 119 Main Event at Conseco by wesreynolds

by Wes Reynolds

UFC President Dana White confirmed earlier this afternoon that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira has been forced the pull out of the September 25th main event at Conseco Fieldhouse with a hip injury. Nogueira had been scheduled to fight Frank Mir in a rematch of their December 2008 fight where Mir defeated Nogueira to win the interim UFC Heavyweight Championship. White also confirmed that Mir will now face Croatian striker Mirko “CroCop” Filipovic in the main event.

Filipovic is known as “CroCop”, which is short for  Croatian Cop. CroCop is a member of the Lučko Anti-Terrorist Unit, Croatia’s elite Police Special Forces tactical unit. He was also a member of Croatian Parliament from 2003 to 2007. CroCop comes into this fight with a 27-7-2 record and has won four of his last five fights including a rear naked choke submission win over young prospect Pat Barry this past June at UFC 115 in Vancouver, BC,  Canada.

CroCop is primarily known as a striker and kickboxer (23-7 record) as evident by his 20 wins by way of knockout. CroCop’s last fight was put together for Barry to get a showcase win over a legendary name in MMA, but in mixed martial arts, things don’t always go as planned. CroCop was seen by many observers as too old, washed up and way past his prime.

Originally and perhaps still scheduled to headline the UFC 122 November event in Oberhausen, Germany, CroCop will now face Mir in a battle of striker vs. grappler. Mir has improved his striking dramatically, but he makes his money on the ground as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. Eight of his thirteen victories are via submission. Mir would obviously be better served to take this fight to the ground and not stand on the feet with CroCop. CroCop, while a little older now, is still a dangerous striker with knockout power via both punching and kicking. After all, any fighter who has Duran Duran’s “Wild Boys” as his ring entrance music and can get away with it has to be a bad dude.

This is actually a better fight to headline this card due to the contrast in styles. Mir will undoubtedly be favored to win this fight according to the oddsmakers, but a simulated fight from the video game UFC Undisputed 2010 between the two combatants produces a different result.

We all find out what the result will be at UFC 119 on September 25th at Conseco Fieldhouse.