CRO COP READY FOR BATTLE
10/01/2003

In a recent press conference at the Dream Stage Entertainment office in Tokyo, Nobuhiko Takada, PRIDE's General Director, announced several extra matches for the October 5th PRIDE BUSHIDO card ... one of the fights surprisingly involved Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, who will face Mexican MMA/Pro Wrestling superstar Dos Carras Jr.

Cro Cop is expected to fight in a title-match against Fedor Emelianenko at PRIDE FC: FINAL CONFLICT at the Tokyo Dome on November 9th. So why is he fighting in BUSHIDO, too?

"It was because he asked us to put him in." Takada explains, "He was very insistent about it and that's why his participation was decided. We, at DSE, planned on giving him 3 months to train after his last fight so he would be in top condition for his fight at the Dome. We were surprised at the conviction he has and the difference between our way of thinking and his."

Despite Mirko's insistence on fighting in BUSHIDO, the title match is still planned as before. "It's in the final stages. Basically, we're just waiting to make an official announcement. He wants to fight specifically because he will soon be in a title-match. He asked to let him fight so that he will be able to beat Fedor. I think he wants to be at his peak when he faces Fedor."

According to Takada, Emelianenko Fedor is completely focused on training for his upcoming fight with Mirko, and will not even accompany his brother, Alexander Emelianenko, to his fight in BUSHIDO.

Takada also had a sweet deal for Japanese fighters. "If you're a young, active fighter then contact DSE directly and we can negotiate. There's no better chance than this for a fighter. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Don't let it slip by. Everyone has a chance to be chosen."