Nelson told MMAjunkie last week that he believes Cro Cop is “back on the special supplements.” In 2015, while he was still with the UFC, Cro Cop was suspended two years by USADA for disclosing the use of human growth hormone.
Cro Cop did not take kindly to Nelson’s remarks. He took to Facebook and blasted “Big County.” Cro Cop wrote that Nelson should start looking for excuses for “after i beat up your fat disrespectful ass.” He added that Nelson should shave his “disgusting beard.”
“Look like professional fighter and show respect to your opponent,” Cro Cop wrote.
Nelson won that night in Las Vegas by third-round TKO. Cro Cop told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour that he badly wanted a rematch, because he damaged ligaments in his arm the week of that bout while sparring with Pat Barry and did not go in 100 percent.
“I don’t want to use this as some excuse, because there is no excuse,” Cro Cop said. “I shouldn’t fight, but it was my problem. I took the fight. I just feel like the results would be different. At least, I would have better chance. This time, i will come completely healthy and I’m sure I will beat Roy Nelson.”
Cro Cop, 43, is currently on a retirement tour. After beating Tsuyoshi Kohsaka by first-round TKO for Rizin on New Year’s Eve, he announced that he would take a few more fights before finishing up his storied career on New Year’s Eve in 2018. Cro Cop said this is a one-fight deal with Bellator and he will be back to fight in Rizin on July 29 and again Dec. 31 against a heavyweight tournament winner.
Cro Cop is a former Pride World Open-Weight Grand Prix champion. He is one of the best heavyweights to ever compete in mixed martial arts. Cro Cop returned for a second run in the UFC in 2015, defeating old rival Gabriel Gonzaga. But then he disclosed HGH use to USADA later that year and ended up being suspended two years.
Cro Cop maintains that he took a small dose of HGH due to an injury so he could compete against Anthony Hamilton in November 2015. He never tested positive for the substance and vehemently believes he should not have been suspended that long. The UFC subsequently released him.
“You know why,” Cro Cop said. “Because I was the first one right after the UFC signed with USADA. They were just waiting for a big name to launch their program. But they got the wrong person.”
Bellator and Cro Cop have received some criticism since technically Cro Cop is still suspended by USADA. When the UFC released him, he left the USADA drug-testing pool and the suspension was frozen. However, commissions and other promotions are not obligated to honor the suspensions of USADA, which is the UFC’s anti-doping partner. Bellator 200 will be regulated by Mohegan Sun and its director Mike Mazzulli, who is also the president of the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC).
Cro Cop said Mazzulli will fly to Croatia to test him personally ahead of the bout and he will do everything asked of him with regards to drug testing. He believes it’s absurd that people say he shouldn’t be fighting for Bellator on this show, especially since he has already fought five times for Rizin since the USADA suspension.
“Why not?” Cro Cop said. “Why shouldn’t I fight on this card? I was suspended for two years — for two years, for nothing. Two years for a negative test results.”
As for Nelson and his comments, Cro Cop said the Facebook post was a bit out of character, but he felt like it was something he had to do.
“I wasn’t pissed off, but I had to answer because of people following my career,” Cro Cop said. “I had to answer, because of my fans. I can’t just keep quiet, just like that.”
Cro Cop’s message to “Big Country” is simple: Focus on the fight.
“I hate this kind of trash talk,” he said. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what he thinks and what he says. I think he should be worried about our fight. … My advice to him is to be more concentrated about me in the cage.”