INDIANAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 25: Referee Herb Dean (R) stops the fight after Mirko Cro Cop (bottom) is knocked out by a knee from Frank Mir during their UFC heavyweight bout at Conseco Fieldhouse on September 25 2010 in Indianapolis Indiana. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Saturday night it seemed Mirko Cro Cop and Frank Mir were doing more talking than fighting. At one point the two were so gabby that they continued a conversation after instructed to break by the referee. What was so important that it couldn't wait until after the fight? Cro Cop revealed what was said to a Croatian news service:
Filipovic also detailed a conversation that he and Mir had when clinched against the fence in the third round, the content of which was immediately the subject of much speculation. He says the exchange went like this:
CroCop: Let me go, lets go to the centre and fight
Mir: Let's go to the mat
CroCop: OK - if I'm on top
Mir: We'll stay in the clinch
Of course, the loudest statement of all was made by UFC President Dana White. After the fight White refused to award Mir the $70,000 knockout of the night bonus. Despite being the only knockout of the card, Mir's knee to the head went unrewarded. Instead, White gave two "Fight of the Night" bonuses. Yahoo's Dave Meltzer says the message was clear:
Without saying a word, UFC president Dana White made a statement about his feelings on the fight. Mir had the only knockout of the 11-fight card, and White gave two fight of the night bonuses and a submission of the night bonus but skipped the usual knockout of the night award.
Sources close to the UFC say Mir isn't expected to get the customary bonus check often awarded to succesful PPV main eventers either. It was a costly performance for Mir, but a bad win is still better than a bad loss. What's next for either fighter is unclear. Cro Cop told the European press he wants to fight several more times for the UFC next year and Mir will likely be in the contender's mix, perhaps in a rematch with Shane Carwin.