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Cro Cop Says He Took It Easy on Perosh

Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic received a fair amount of criticism (including some by yours truly) for a rather unimpressive showing in his win over Anthony Perosh at UFC 110. But Cro Cop says he was just trying to take it easy on a smaller, less experienced, less skilled opponent who was taking the fight on two days' notice.

After acknowleding that his lack of a killer instinct had been questioned by everyone up to and including UFC President Dana White, Cro Cop said he had no regrets about not knocking Perosh out.

"I admire Perosh for accepting the fight," Cro Cop said, according to Fighters Only Magazine. "There were much better fighters there who turned it down but I understand why; they did not have time to prepare."

Cro Cop didn't mention those "much better fighters" by name, but a Croatian web site said Rampage Jackson and Randy Couture were both offered the fight. I find that hard to believe; I can't see the UFC putting a star of that level in the Octagon without enough time to promote the fight. Pat Barry was believed to be the UFC's first choice, but he couldn't get cleared to fight in time.

In any event, Cro Cop said that when White asked him why he didn't finish Perosh, he explained that "I just couldn't do that to him when he was so bloody." And Cro Cop added, "I am very sorry that I had to hurt Perosh. I tried to fight with as much consideration for him as I could. I even avoided the ground because I am 7, 8 kilos heavier than he is."

Maybe Cro Cop was just being a nice guy, and maybe we shouldn't criticize him. But to my eyes, Cro Cop's striking looked slow against Perosh, just as it's looked slow for the last few years. I don't think we're ever going to see the Cro Cop of old again, even if he's not taking it easy on an overmatched opponent.