“Fern and fools will never die out”

columnsHIGHLIGHTED 18.03.2013 12:07h Author:

Photo by FightChannel (Ivana Kaurloto)

You can love him or hate him. You can be his fan or prefer some other fighters. You can like his personality or be annoyed by it. But all this has nothing to do with the amount of stupidity and malice that could be heard after Mirko Filipović crowned his career with the K-1 WGP title in Zagreb Arena. It's simply repulsive.

A setup! They paid Badr Hari not to fight! They also paid Samedov not to get back in the tournament after paying Hari to fake an injury. They bribed judges to decide in his favor… These are just some of the moronic things that can be read browsing through the comments of articles related to the K-1 WGP Final.

Not only we did not pay Hari not to fight, but the Moroccan was adamant to stay in the tournament even after his foot started to take the shape and size of a ripe cantaloupe. Only after his foot cooled off completely and the swelling became so large that not even a bandage could be placed on it, preventing Hari from even getting up on his feet, did his coach Passanier, the medical team and his corner conclude it was simply not possible to continue.

The real truth is that we begged Samedov for more than ten minutes to jump in for the semifinal bout as Dževad Poturak also wasn't in good shape after his first matchup with Lascenko. Samedov's manager made the final decision, not allowing him to get inside the ring with a broken rib and bruised legs with Londt, who is 20 kg heavier. Let's not forget that 50,000 USD of prize money for the semifinalists was in play, which means Samedov must have had a good reason to miss a chance like this to make some easy money. Luckily, Poturak was willing to help us out and decided to enter the semifinal with an already fractured rib.

If the fight against Miller was rather even and some of the judges could have favored the American fighter for a round or two, then the wins against Zhuravlev and Londt were flawless. The Ukrainian barely made it alive several times during the bout, and Londt was only saved by his "concrete chin" from a high kick that would hammer most fighters down to the floor. But there will always be those who don't mind their sick cow as long as the neighbor's is dead and those who simply can't take someone else's success.

No – last year Orsat Zovko and Fight Channel did not "fix" the bout against Ray Sefo at Cro Cop Final Fight. Mirko won fair and square, and it took two months for Sefo to recover from a serious eye injury. We hadn't even advertised it as the last fight in Mirko's career, as later was insinuated. To the contrary, at the very first press conference it was clearly stated that Cro Cop was returning to kickboxing, and the Final Fight was merely the tournament brand name. And no, the K-1 WGP Final was not fixed, it was Mirko Filipović who caused an upset with a spectacular display that reminded of his Japanese days which made him famous forever. Cro Cop has damn well earned his K-1 WGP title! Those who don't get it or can't process this information should watch some other sport in the future because this one is clearly too hard for them to follow.

And, in the end, a small example of irresponsible journalism which is ideal fuel for those who can't wait to spit on someone else's success. An MMABay article says that Mirko Filipović rolled back the years to win the K-1 WGP. But the very next sentence suggests that all the best fighters in the world are in Glory, while K-1 must have fallen really low when Cro Cop won its WGP. It would have been perhaps less ridiculous if the same article hadn't stated that Filipović defeated "his fellow countryman Catalin Morosanu" in the semifinals. This way, it's just bizarre. In a moment like this, one of Mirko's favorite sayings fits perfectly: "Fern and fools will never die out!"

Marko Petrak