Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic was announced in a recent Tokyo press conference as the 2005 spokesman for martial arts goods manufacturer BODYMAKER. Mirko will appear in BODYMAKER's TV commercials from the end of March. Previous BODYMAKER representatives include Kazushi Sakuraba and Hayato "Mach" Sakurai.

Susumu Nagabuchi, President of BODYMAKER developer BB-SPORTS, explained the move. "Among a wide variety of sports, martial arts are something great that we can send from Japan to the world. If we think about Japanese sporting good makers, martial arts goods makers still aren't even known among the hardcore fans. We wanted to break that wall down and, with the help of PRIDE, a minor sporting goods maker will become a giant sporting goods maker, and Mirko Cro Cop will become our representative. I really wanted Mirko, who captured the hearts of Japanese fans with his deadly left high-kick, to share with us his power."




"The fighters are the stars on the PRIDE stage," Dream Stage Entertainment CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara commented on the collaboration. "BODYMAKER supports that and with the appointment of Mirko as their spokesman, I hope we will be able to give each other advice. Our business philosophy of ??rom Japan to the world' is the same. I want to cooperate closely with them as an enterprise and continue to grow."

Mirko was wearing a black BODYMAKER parka at the press conference. "If you are a martial arts fighter, you cannot come to Japan without seeing the name BODYMAKER. The mitts we use at my gym are BODYMAKER's. I've become their spokesman and my philosophy in life is ??f you are going to do something, be the best.' In addition to developing high quality martial arts wear, mitts, tracksuits, etc., I hope to give them lots of advice. Team Cro Cop has more members now so I hope we can show off the BODYMAKER logo on our uniforms to the media."

BODYMAKER'S Mirko products will be available in Japan from April.