Here is part 2 of Mirko Crocop's interview.
On February 3rd you will make your Octagon debut. Do you think you will have any adjustments to make regarding the Nevada State Athletic Commision?
Mirko:"Yes. First of all the way I wrapped and taped my hands in Japan is not allowed. That is a problem."
Do you mean how much tape you can use? How long your wraps can be? How much you wrap your hands?
Mirko:"Yeah. In Japan it depends on the fighter. Grapplers do not wrap their fists tighly so they can better grasp their opponent. Strikers wrap their fists tightly with alot of tape to prevent hurting themselves. The NSAC has a rule to how much wrapping you can use."
In Japan you are given a roll of tape and wraps. You can bring your own. It is up to the fighter.
Mirko:"The NSAC rule is 6 feet of hand wraps."
They are pretty strict.
Mirko:" Strikers want to wrap their fists with alot of tape because the open finger gloves do not have much protection. I heard that Fedor's only problem with fighting in Las Vegas was related to wrapping and taping his fists. You know Fedor is a hard puncher."
Have you tried on the UFC gloves?
Mirko:"Yes. Compared to the Pride gloves they are slightly thinner. More the reason that I want to wrap my hands like I did in Japan."
WHat do you think of the change in round format? You will now have to fight 5, 5 minute rounds in a title match and 3, 5 minute rounds for non-title matches.
Mirko:" I have to say that it will be easier for me stamina wise because I fought ten minute rounds."
You get to use elbows also.
Mirko:" Yes I think that will be fun. I am thinking of alot of ways to use them(elbows). In the pound for example. I will have to go back to my kickboxing and remember what I did. We have a new boxing coach on my team. Branimir Rebbac(Sorry I have no idea how to write his name in English). We are discussing strategy. I can no longer use soccer ball kicks and four point knees because they are illegal."
The UFC has many strikers. Defense will be important.
Mirko:" I will have to be careful not to get caught by a big shot."
Your first opponent, Eddie Sanchez is a striker, with a good overhand right. He also is has a good triangle choke. He trained with Team Quest for about half a year.
Mirko:"Team Quest...that is where Dan Henderson trains. Hey I like triangle chokes, also guillotines. "
Speaking about Team Quest, Randy Couture has come out of retirement at 43 years of age. He is also going to fight as a heavyweight. Your first encounter with The UFC was seeing Couture right?
Mirko:"Yes. Couture in his career has always been a good strategist. He is a strong wrestler and has strong stand-up skills. I really want to see how he will do at HW. Last year he had a grappling match with Jacare that ended in a draw."
He has a four fight contract. The possiblity exists for you fighting Couture.
Mirko:" Frist Randy will have to face Tim Sylvia on March 3rd right? Tim Sylvia has much greater reach than Liddell. I want to see how it plays out. "
Rampage who used to fight in Pride is also in the UFC.
Mirko:"Jackson is here. Liddell is very popular here isn't he?(laughing) I am close to the LHW limit. The day might come where I will have to fight Liddell. First he has to deal with surgery. I will try not to let him get away from me(laughing)."
It is less than one month until you enter the Octagon. What are your thought?
Mirko:"Hmmm...you know the other day while at a friend's house I heard the Pride music they use from a video they were watching. At that moment I felt very sad. I was surprised at myself. When I made the decision to go to the UFC, I thought that there would be no regrets. That beat (dandandadan) I thought, I won't be able to hear it for some time. They play that music backstage at Pride. For me it acted as a switch. Usually when they call on me to get ready I can see and hear the crowd, they call my name and wave. I wave back. My worries disappear. The nervousness I feel until that point disappears. I can focus. That music acted as a switch for me. From now on I will have to find news ways of doing things. You know I still have not been an Octagon(laughing). I do not know how the cage feels to the touch. On January 31st I have work to do at Parliament. I get to Vegas on the 1st. I take my physical for the NSAC. Then it it is showtime. One thing, the time difference is not as great between Croatia and America as it is between Japan and Croatia(laughing). When I enter the Octagon, I wonder what I will feel. Thinking back I was booed first fighting in Pride, fighting for K-1. When I enter the Octagon I will have to decide the path of my life with just my hands."
Here is part 2 of Mirko Crocop's interview.
Thanks again. Interesting stuff about the hand wraps.
Crocop rocks! I am actually looking forward to watching UFC if he is fighting. Notice he mentions that he has to work at Parliament (he is still an elected official in Croatia I guess)the day before the fight, then fly to Vegas...I hope jet lag doesn't weigh him down too much.
Thanks again man for translating the interview.
Big thanks Otoko I appreciate it a lot.
The NSAC can be a pain in the ass at times, lol.
If anyone wants an inside look at Crocop I suggest you download or get if you can "Crocop Story" very good.
Your threads deserve a big up Otoko.