Coming on the heals of recent statements made by popular Croatian striker Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Dana White confirmed that he’s held serious discussions about bringing Filipovic back to the UFC.
Filipovic (24-6-2) spent a year and a half away from the organization after consecutive losses derailed his asention to what was supposed to be a UFC heavyweight title.
Filipovic, a PRIDE Grand Prix Champion, was brought to the UFC with much fanfare, but never delivered going 1-2 in his brief UFC stint. The former K-1 star suffered losses to both Gabriel Gonzaga and Chieck Congo in which he was outstruck — a rarity for the Croatian superstar.
Filipovic left the UFC in order to regain his “mojo” and build some confidence with the promise that he’d be back to avenge his losses and fulfill the lofty expectation placed on him upon his UFC arrival.
Now, according to White, he’ll get that opportunity.
“I talked to Mirko probably about a month ago,” White told Setanta Sports. “He said he’s ready to come back.”
Filipovic may be willing, but he’s not ready according to his own admission — at least not physically. He recently sustained knee ligament damage and had successful surgery to repair it last month. Aggressive estimates have Filipovic ready for action in no shorter than four months time.
If the popular Croat can meet that time table, he may be able to debut close to home when the UFC takes its show to Germany.
“He wants to come back in the UFC and he’d love to fight in Germany,” said White. “I’m talking to his agent right now, and we’re trying to figure out what we can do.”
UFC 99 is rumored to take place on June 13 in Germany and will likely feature a lightweight title fight between B.J. Penn and Kenny Florian.
Wanderlei Silva is also rumored to be in action on the card taking on Rich Franklin at a 195lbs. catch weight as he attempts to ease his way down to 185lbs. in order to compete in the UFC’s middleweight division.
It should be noted that Filipovic, having fulfilled his three fight contract with the Japanese promotion, DREAM, is a free agent and is currently in negotiations with them along with the UFC and Affliction.