Despite strong rumors that Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic may be returning to the Octagon at UFC 99, it appears he has chosen to sign a three fight extension with DREAM instead.
Mirko Cro Cop will return to Japan for his comeback fight after today announcing a three fight deal with FEG, the parent company of Dream and K1. Leading Croatian sports website Sportal broke the news. Cro Cop’s first fight will most likely take place in July.
“The wish of the Japanese promotions is for me to fight Overeem in a K1 rules bout in July. I’m all for continuing our battle from last year.” said Cro Cop.
The Japanese promotion Dream where quick to react after it was revealed that Cro Cop was close to signing a deal with the UFC. Dream has offered Cro Cop three fights, two under mixed martial arts rules. One of those could be a December bout with Fedor Emelianenko. Since his 2005 loss to Fedor, Cro Cop has had a strong desire to rematch the worlds best MMA heavyweight.
“It was on NYE that I fought Fedor and I hope for a return bout this year.”
There’s also been talk of DREAM holding a Heavyweight or Open-Weight Grand Prix later this year with fighters such as Cro Cop, Alistair Overeem, and Fedor Emelianenko. Sportal.hr via Free Fight Videos:
Rumors from Japan and Croatia (Sportal/Index) are emerging that Dream is in the process of organizing a heavyweight or open weight grand prix later this year. Fighters like Fedor Emelianenko and Mirko Filipovic are being canvassed by FEG while Alistair Overeem, Sergei Kharitonov, Gilbert Yvel and Semmy Schilt are certain participants should Dream go ahead with the tournament .
Former UFC fighter and Pride Grand Prix champion Mirko Cro Cop has a had great desire to rematch Fedor Emelianenko ever since their 2005 battle. The Pride New Years Eve bout was one of most anticipated fights in MMA history. WAMMA heavyweight champion Emelianenko has often cited Cro Cop as the most difficult opponent in his career. It is being reported that Dream used the Russian as a bargaining tool to coax Cro Cop back to Japan and away from the UFC.
Before you get yourself in a tizzy over the rumor of Fedor returning to Japan to fight in another grand prix, Dreamfighters.com spoke to an official with M-1 Global, who informed them that there is “no truth to this rumor at all.”
For now, it appears we’ll have to wait a little while longer to see Mirko return to the Octagon, if he does at all. However, with possible bouts with fighters such as Overeem and Kharitonov on the horizon, there really isn’t a whole lot to complain about, unless of course, Mirko ends up fighting Japanese pro wrestlers or cartoon characters.
Quick Update (3/17): There seems to be a little confusion over whether Cro Cop has actually signed anything yet or not, so at this point, I would say he’s not until there’s official confirmation from Mirko. Furthermore, Mirko updated his blog earlier today and said he is still weighing his options and will reveal his future plans within the coming weeks, so we should know for sure soon.