It is the classic tale of unrequited love. One party lives for their beloved. The other doesn’t know the first one is alive. It is the story of the co-main event at this weekend’s UFC 115.
Pat Barry grew up with a poster of Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic on his wall. Saturday they will fight, but on Wednesday during the open workouts at Vancouver’s Sheraton Wall Centre, Barry met his idol for the first time.
“I just walked straight into him while I’m doing an interview about him…I said ‘I’ll call y’all back’ and shook his hand.”
When asked what Barry said to Cro Cop: “Hi. You’re the, you’re the, I’ve always wanted to meet you.”
Cro Cop doesn’t carry himself as a man looking for a new friend. He’s been in the MMA game for nearly 10 years compared to Barry’s two. Cro Cop is focused on using this fight as a leap back into title contention. His three and three record in the UFC since coming over from Japan isn’t sitting right. He’s the first to tell you why.
“Money attracted me here, it’s the worst motivation a fighter can have.”
He adds that all changed when he saw himself falling off most Top 10 heavyweight rankings. Anger now fuels the fire.
At Thursday’s press conference, the one sided love-in continued. Barry admitted he’d be asking Cro Cop for an autograph. Cro Cop told Barry he could have one. Barry then told reporters how he’d feel if he won the fight.
“I’d spend the next couple of years just looking out the window.”
Cro Cop had an answer for that.
“If I win, he’ll be looking out the window for two years, but with a nurse beside him.”
Earlier Barry let slip to the media he played the new UFC video game as himself recently and actually lost to Cro Cop. When informed of this the Croatian’s response was simple.
“ I’ve never played Playstation, I think it’s not for a grown up man. My son who is seven is playing Playstation.”