As previously reported, Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic withdrew from DREAM.5 with knee and elbow injuries. Cro Cop underwent surgery recently to repair the damaged knee that kept him from using his most dangerous weapon—his kicks.
Nokaut.com recently caught up with Cro Cop to talk about his recovery and get his thoughts on the upcoming Affliction “Banned” event.
Nokaut: So how the surgery went through?
Mirko: I’m satisfied with the result, they have removed all scattered pieces of the broken menisk. This is something that had to be done earlier this year but I kept postponing it since I didn’t want to skip my fights in DREAM. However, it’s all history now and let’s focus on future.
Nokaut: So we can expect to see you back in action on September 23? I guess you can’t share more details with us at this point?
Mirko: Yes, I can only confirm that I’m going to fight in September. I really don’t want to sit on the bench and watch others play. I want to be back in action as soon as possible and I want to end this year with success.
Nokaut: Speaking about the promotions, there’s a new player in the field – Affliction. The card of the year award is in their hands as of now. What are your thoughts on them?
Mirko: All I can say is that the line-up really looks good.
Despite Mirko’s troubles in the UFC, having Cro Cop in Affliction would be a great addition considering the wealth of heavyweight talent they have. However, Cro Cop is contracted with DREAM for the time being, and has stated he plans on returning to the UFC in the future, so we’ll see what happens.
Cro Cop also gave his thoughts on the Affliction heavyweight matchups.
On Fedor vs Sylvia:
A tough call. Yes I know, Fedor is a huge favourite in this one almost for everyone, but I see him having a hard time out there. It’s not easy to fight Tim, he’s big and he’s using his reach advantage very well. Just look at how good he did against Minotauro, before getting submitted. We don’t have to spend words on Fedor, he’s a great fighter. Let’s say that I see Fedor taking the decision, but it won’t be an easy fight for sure.
On Barnett vs Rizzo:
I fought Josh three times and I can say that he’s really tough. He also seems to be in a very good shape lately, so I see him taking this one without going the distance.
On Arlovski vs Rothwell:
To be honest, I don’t know much about Ben. This is MMA and everyone has a chance, that’s the beauty of it. However, Arlovski is a very good striker and he’s considered one of the top heavyweights in the world, while his opponent has yet to earn this status.
Hopefully, we’ll see Cro Cop fighting top competition, like the names he just commented on, sooner rather than later.