Bellator 200’s Mirko Cro-Cop Not Looking Ahead to Heavyweight Grand Prix, Doesn’t Expect Fedor Fight Will Happen

Mirko Cro-Cop
Mirko Cro-Cop. Credit: Sachiko Hotaka/Rizin FF

Cro-Cop’s not done yet, but he doesn’t expect he’ll be needed in Bellator’s World Heavyweight Grand Prix. Nor does he foresee a second fight with Fedor coming.

Mirko Cro-Cop is headlining Bellator 200 against Roy Nelson, a rematch of his UFC 137 loss against ‘Big Country’ in 2011. It’s a bout that many were surprised to see selected as an alternate fight for the promotion’s World Heavyweight Grand Prix, which is down to its final four. Cro-Cop, for one, has fights booked outside Bellator MMA, mainly a July contest at RIZIN 11. Nelson, meanwhile, was eliminated in the opening round of the grand prix in February, when he dropped a decision to Matt Mitrione.

Yet here we are, with Mirko Cro-Cop and Roy Nelson headlining Bellator’s 200th event, a milestone show going down in London, England on May 25. Cro-Cop spoke to the media at Thursday’s Bellator 200 media call, and addressed the subject of the Nelson rematch, staying motivated to fight in his forties, and a second Fedor fight.

When it comes to perhaps being drawn into the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix, Cro-Cop said that “I don’t think about it. I don’t think it will happen. I’m just concentrating on my fight.”

“I like tournaments, but basically this is not a tournament in the way I’m using to fighting in,” he explained. “Tournament to me is three fights in one night, or at least two fights in one night. This is not going to be the case. This is just a single fight.” Which likely lessens the need for an alternate in the end.

As to whether the chance to avenge a loss, or simply fighting in Bellator, was the bigger attraction for the deadly striker, Mirko Filipović said that “of course, I’m not coming just to fight in Bellator. Of course I’d like to avenge my loss against Roy. This is the point of the fight, not just participating. Every true fighter wants to win in the fight.”

And what keeps him going in his forties? “It makes me happy. That’s the most simplest answer I can give to you. It just makes me happy,” Cro-Cop said, noting his affinity for training as well. “I like winning, and that’s it more or less.”

As to whether he would have wanted to be in on the grand prix from the outset, “I didn’t receive a call, so there’s no need to argue,” he said of the snub. “What happened, happened. But most likely I would, you know, most likely I would. At the same time, I had some business obligations to RIZIN, so I don’t know if it could be possible to do.”

In the bout at Bellator 200, he’s not promising anything. “There is nothing I have to promise. That’s not my style, promising anything. I’m in very good shape, and I’m looking forward to fighting,” he said. “Roy is a great guy, very good fighter, great fighter, and I have to do my best to beat him. So we’ll see what will happen in the fight.”

Finally, on the subject of a second fight against Fedor Emelianenko, Cro-Cop downplayed the possibility. That, despite both men now fighting under the same banner in Bellator. “People are asking me all the time about that,” he admitted, “but I don’t think about Fedor right now. And I don’t think that fight will happen.” As to why, he answered that “I don’t know, it’s hard to say. I don’t have any special desire to fight him anymore, like I did before. Never say never, but I don’t think the fight will happen.”