Reports are surfacing from Croatian website Index.hr that UFC 119 headliner Mirko Cro Cop has suffered a serious eye injury in training and could be out of his UFC 119 main event bout with Frank Mir.
UFC 119 is scheduled for Sept. 25 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Sherdog.com with more:
Croatia's largest and one of its most accredited news sites states that the native kickboxer, who turned 36 a week ago, sustained a severe eye injury during his final sparring session on Friday. "Cro Cop" has been preparing for the Mir bout with regular training partners Igor Kolakusic, Ivan Hippolyte and Dean Lister in Zagreb, Croatia.
Sherdog.com has not been able to verify the report, while an inquiry sent into the UFC has not yet been answered.
The Index.hr report also states that Filipovic had already consulted several eye specialists in his home country but was unable to obtain their clearance to fight. The popular knockout artist was scheduled to depart for Indianapolis this Sunday before squaring off against Mir on Sept. 25 at the Conseco Fieldhouse.
However, SI.com's Josh Gross tweets that he is hearing from his source that Cro Cop is OK.
Well placed source tells me Mirko is "fine." Could be this person doesn't have full facts, but usually spot on.
In addition, UFC heavyweight Pat Barry, who fought Cro Cop at UFC 115, tweets this:
CroCop is A-OK! I called him!!! Hahhhhhhhhhh, we're friends!!!
Although signs point the other way at this moment, if Cro Cop being out comes to fruition, it is a serious blow for the UFC 119 card, which was going to have enough trouble selling pay-per-views as it is. It would be difficult for the UFC to find a suitable replacement on such short notice and the fight could be scrapped all together. Time will tell.
It would be interesting if Cro Cop is out if the UFC would put a call in to former two-division champion Randy Couture, who fought last month at UFC 118, defeating James Toney in the first round. He likely would be the only high-profile fighter who could potentially take the fight.
[UPDATE by Matt Bishop 9/17/10, 3:51 p.m. ET]: And that one is quickly squashed by Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, who spoke with UFC president Dana White and tweets the following:
Nothing wrong with Cro Cop according to @DanaWhite Bogus rumor #UFC #MMA