Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, following his KO victory over Shungo Oyama on 7/19 at PRIDE BUSHIDO 4, declared that he wants to take down Mark Coleman in August, in advance of a rematch with Randleman in October. This plan has obviously been thrown out since Mirko was matched up with Alexander Emelianenko but what does Mark Coleman have to say about being called out?
Pride Fighting Championships:
Have you heard about Mirko's plan to fight you in August, Randleman in October and challenge for the PRIDE Heavyweight Championship next year?
That's the first I've heard of it. That's for DSE to decide anyway, not Mirko. He's not our boss, nor is he the PRIDE Champion. He's just one fighter? What gives him the right to say things like who he wants to fight next and what schedule he wants to fight on? That's ridiculous. I think he's a great fighter and I can respect him for having that ambition, but that's not how an adult speaks in public. He can say whatever he wants, though.
What would you do if you were matched up with Mirko?
Wait a minute. "Top 3" isn't correct. You've got to add Kevin, Kharitonov and Ogawa to that. I've been training with Kevin for 15 years, since our amateur wrestling days. He took Mirko out so you've got to add him to that list. Kharitonov has great balance and I think his abilities will continue to grow from here. Ogawa is a dark horse but he's worth watching since he made it to the GRAND PRIX finals. You never know what's going to happen. That's the beauty of MMA as a sport. You can look at the current results and see whether Mirko is better than them or not.
Kevin said that he beat Mirko with a strategy that you gave him. Do you think a fight between you and Mirko would turn out the same way?
Kevin's win was the result of him training every day. If I fight Mirko, it will be a little different that Kevin's fight. I'm bigger than Kevin and I've got more wrestling experience than him so I would definitely take Mirko to the ground. Of course, there's a big risk that you take whenever you fight Mirko but I'll take that chance. Mirko's physically strong and Kevin said he was strong so I think it would be a really hard, and fun, fight. I'm in great condition now so I'll stay in this condition for our fight.
I hope so. Mirko's not the matchmaker, though. He's not the best fighter and he doesn't have the belt so I don't have a burning desire to fight him. The fights that I want right now are a rematch with Fedor and the winner of the GRAND PRIX. I can't say much about it right now but I would like to wear the belt again before I retire.
What kind of training would you do for a fight with Mirko?
It's not really for Mirko but after my fight with Fedor, I felt I needed to do more jiu-jitsu training. I've been wrestling for a long time so if something happens, I can deal with it by instinct but in jiu-jitsu, I have to think about what I'm going to do. If I don't think about what I'm going to do next, my body won't move. There's no time for thinking in the ring, though. Your body has to be able to react without thinking. That's why I need to work on my jiu-jitsu techniques more. At the same time, I have to maintain my current condition.
I see. Who do you think stands the greatest chance of winning the August 15th PRIDE GP Final Round?
That would be Fedor. He's got the best mix among the remaining 4 fighters. 1 point that you can't overlook is that in the Final Round, you have to fight 2 fights in 1 day. They may get injured in the first round and how long they can maintain their stamina will become important. Luck is just as important as actual skill.
What kind of fighter did you think Fedor was after you fought him?
I was watching him from a long time before. He's a great fighter. He's very strong and he's fast for being so big. That arm-bar was really tight and I thought my arm might be broken but he was careful to only use the force that was necessary. He's combined both gentleness and coldness. I said earlier that "luck" would be necessary to win the GRAND PRIX but "luck" might be a little rude. In the end, spirit and strategy will probably decide it. The fighter that exceed in everything will win the Championship.