Thursday, February 1, 2007


By Loretta Hunt

A pre-fight press conference hosted today by Zuffa LLC. drew a strong turnout of international media, most likely into town to witness former PRIDE Champion Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic’s (21-4-2) debut in the Ultimate Fighting Championship Saturday night versus Eddie Sanchez. (8-0). The UFC carefully advertised that Cro Cop would not be attending the event today, as UFC president White updated from the podium the Croatian star and his entourage had just landed in Las Vegas and was on route to the Mandalay Bay Hotel at the time.

Opponent Sanchez was in attendance though, and spoke freely of what he called Saturday night’s “mismatch” as White let out a chuckle behind him. My “UFC 67 Presser News & Notes” (posting shortly) captured Sanchez’s candid comments, while I also spoke with Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer regarding his approval of the match-up, and its comparison to a PRIDE-proposed bout between Eric “Butterbean” Esch and Mark Hunt that was rejected last October.

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