Saturday, February 3, 2007

'CroCop' is big favorite in UFC debut

Mirko Filipovic the private citizen fulfilled a lifelong ambition in 2004 when he was elected to the Croatian parliament.

But he quickly grew disillusioned with the double-crossing and back-room wheeling and dealing of politics, and he's unsure if he'll seek a second four-year term in 2008.

But CroCop -- the nickname by which Filipovic is commonly known in the mixed martial arts world -- could be elected king of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, judging by the reaction he received from a small, vocal crowd Friday at the weigh-in for tonight's pay-per-view card at Mandalay Bay.

Filipovic, 32, will make his UFC debut after a lengthy career in the Pride Fighting Championship when he meets unbeaten but inexperienced Eddie Sanchez in a three-round non-title bout.

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