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Cro Cop is back, bitches

Remember when it was announced out of nowhere that Cro Cop would be returning to the UFC? That was awesome. Remember when he fought in Germany against glorified-tomato-can Mustapha Al-Turk and was awarded victory after an eye poke the ref didn’t catch? That wasn’t too awesome. Remember when only days later it was revealed that Cro Cop was jumping ship to Dream because the UFC wasn’t offering him favorable contract terms? That not only wasn’t awesome, but was instead extremely shitty. Now he has decided to continue fighting inside the Octagon. And get this: his return fight will be at UFC 103 in Dallas against hard-hitting contender Junior dos Santos, who was also the first person to  break the news.

I think I’ll fight September 19. They took me off the August 29 show. My opponent’s changed. I’ll probably face Cro Cop. If I beat him I’ll be in really good standing. If that’s truly the case, I’m guaranteed on the main card and in the main event of the evening. If I were to fight now it wouldn’t be on the main card.

To me it’s incredible. When they asked me if they could change the fight date I was a bit bothered, because I wanted to fight right away. I’ve been away for some time now. But the Fertitta brothers asked me and I accepted. After that I found out it would be against Cro Cop and was overjoyed. It’ll be a big opportunity in my career. Lots of good things have happened in my life and this is one more. I’m going to make the most of it.

If that wasn’t enough for you, MMAWeekly is reporting that Cro Cop has indeed dropped out of a proposed fight with Mighty Mo at Dream 10. Looks like we’ll be seeing the Croatian superstar back in the Octagon after all, despite the fact that he “fucked” the UFC.

Cro Cop recieved a lot of shit for jumping to Dream in the first place, but all he did was look out for himself, which is what any of us would have done in the same situation. Most fighters are restricted to doing whatever it is the UFC asks of them (see: Jon Fitch getting fired and hired in a 24 hour time span) because they have no other options. With Cro Cop’s name value overseas, he has a wealth of other options where he could make a comparable amount of money — which is what it all boils down to at the end of the day. Many called bullshit on his comments that he wanted to prove himself in the UFC after a disappointing showing the last time around, but I think it’s fair to say that he legitimately does want to prove himself inside the Octagon — just not at the cost of sacrificing certain contractual requirements.

The question now becomes whether the 2006 Pride OWGP winner still has what it takes to be successful at a high level. A victory over Dos Santos will answer that question in the affirmative, whereas a loss will signify that it might be time to hang up the checkered shorts for good. As long as the fight itself doesn’t turn into a fucking Three Stooges episode — with kicks-to-the-balls and eye pokes — I’ll be a happy man.

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