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Focused on Bellator 200, Mirko Cro Cop isn't driven to rematch Fedor Emelianenko anymore

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Fedor Emelianenko vs. Mirko Cro Cop was one of the most epic heavyweight fights in MMA history.

Unlike so many classics these days, it seems destined to be a one-time thing.

That’s according to Cro Cop, who just missed the boat for signing on to the Bellator MMA World Grand Prix 2018. The 43-year-old veteran isn’t driven to avenge his loss to Emelianenko in 2005 under the now-defunct PRIDE banner.

“People ask me all the time about that, but I don’t think about Fedor right now,” Cro Cop said during a Thursday conference call in support of his Bellator 200 meeting with Roy Nelson, which takes place May 25 at The SSE Arena in London, England, and airs on Paramount.


Roy Nelson vs. Mirko Cro Cop designated as Bellator grand prix alternate bout

Emelianenko (37-5 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) and Cro Cop (36-11-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) might be closer than ever to a rematch now that they’re both fighting in Bellator. Emelianenko just advanced to the semifinals of the tournament and will face off with Chael Sonnen later this year. But Cro Cop doesn’t anticipate he’ll get the call to fill in as a tournament alternatve.

And that’s OK for the knockout artist. From the sound of it, he’s moved on from the epic rivalry.

“I don’t think that fight will happen,” Cro Cop said. “I don’t have some special desire to fight him anymore, like I had before. Never say never, but I don’t think that fight will ever happen.”

Cro Cop vs. Nelson (23-15 MMA, 1-1 BMMA), a rematch of a 2011 fight in the UFC, was named an alternate bout to the grand prix after initially being announced to headline Bellator 200. Cro Cop said he didn’t receive a call to participate in the tournament, but business obligations to Japanese promotion RIZIN would have kept him out anyway.


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For Cro Cop, a win over Nelson, who knocked him out in their first meeting and accused him of being a drug cheat in advance of their second go-around, is the first priority.

“To tell you the truth, I don’t think about it,” Cro Cop said of the grand prix.

Cro Cop doesn’t make much of Emelienanko’s quick knockout win over ex-UFC champ Frank Mir (37-5 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) this past month at Bellator 198. Although much of the MMA world was buzzing about a comeback, he didn’t see enough to agree with that assessment.

“Well, it was a good fight,” he told MMAjunkie. “If he’s back or not, I don’t know. The fight was too short. But good for him.”

For more on Bellator 200, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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