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Mirko Cro Cop Plans to Get Revenge on Alistair Overeem on New Year's Eve in Japan

A week after suffering a painful injury when he was repeatedly kneed in the groin by Alistair Overeem, the Croatian mixed martial arts fighter Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic says he expects to fight Overeem again on New Year's Eve, and that he's looking forward to getting revenge.

So far the Dream MMA organization hasn't announced a New Year's Eve show, but if the show does go on, a Cro Cop-Overeem rematch would be a big draw.

Cro Cop made the comments in an interview with a Croatian publication, and we have the translation, thanks to Robert at The full interview is after the jump.

Cro Cop: Ending my career is not a option
Ending his career is not a option for Mirko Cro Cop. Currently his mind is only occupied with revenging Overeem.

Q: How's your health?
CC: Right now everything is fine. My injuries have healed up and I'll return to training soon.

Q: It wasn't easy watching those knees to your groin...
CC: I'll quote a favorite movie of mine "Maratonci trce pocasni krug" -- "I don't like it, but its part of the job!" That's how I feel about what happened at Dream 6.

Q: Were you surprised he wasn't disqualified?
CC: I wouldn't have gained anything from a disqualification. I don't need that kind of win. More importantly I shouldn't have given him the opportunity to knee me to the groin.

Q: Disqualifying him would make him think twice about where he places his knees.
CC: Well next him he'll be well advised not to go near my groin. If he does it again, I'll give him a taste of his own medicine. And I'll do it deliberately without holding back. Mixed martial arts is a brutal sport but there are rules to be followed. I have followed them throughout my career and my opponents have also. There is no point crying over spilt milk. I expect my revenge at New Year's Eve.

Q: Do you have any plans between New Year's Eve and now?
CC: I'll travel to Seoul, Korea on 11.11.08 to support Igor Pokrajac when he fights against a yet unknown opponent.

Q: Do you concede that Overeem was the dominant one up until the injury?
CC: Yes he was, but it's a 15-minute fight and anything could have happened had the fight continued. I should have been more aggressive of course. Its something I'll have to work on.

Q: Did you properly train for the fight?
CC: Despite the commentary that I'm too old, all my physical conditioning and speed point to the fact that I've never been better prepared than for my last fight. But it doesn't matter what I think, the only thing that matters is what actually happens in the ring.

Q: So what's the problem then?
CC: I'm under more pressure then I have been earlier in my career. I lost two fights in the UFC, and I have a fear of it happening again. I can't afford more failures. I have a fear of failing not of punches or kicks. Many fighters have the same problem.

Q: Do you have an exit strategy after you leave the sport?
No, as long as I'm healthy my mind is only on fighting on.

Q: So you don't have any plans to leave the sport?
CC: Peter Aerts has been written of for 5 years now. He recently defeated K1's best fighter and tournament favorite Semmy Schilt. If he can do it why should I at 35 be too old? I feel great, my conditioning is excellent and I'm motivated to fight. There is no reason to end my career.

--- Translated by