Several reports are now indicating that Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (25-6-2) may be headed back to the UFC after all. The drama began after Cro Cop appeared at UFC 99 in Cologne, Germany with a controversial win over Mustapha al Turk last month. Cro Cop reportedly had verbally agreed to a three fight deal with UFC president Dana White. Shortly after his fight with al Turk, reports intimated that Cro Cop was bolting from the UFC to fight in Japan for the DREAM promotion. This news was obviously a blow to the UFC with White feeling angered and betrayed by Cro Cop.
In the most recent development, Croation news outlet Index.hr is reporting that UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta recently traveled to visit Cro Cop in his hometown of Zagreb, Croatia. Fertitta and the heavyweight fighter met for two hours with Fertitta making “an offer he [Cro Cop] cannot refuse”. As a result, Cro Cop is now expected to rejoin the UFC with a new deal. One of his chief concerns about being with the UFC is that he would not be able to fight as frequently as he would like to. The 34-year old Cro Cop understandably was concerned about being on the shelf for extended periods of time. Details regarding this alleged new deal have yet to surface.
Cro Cop has long been considered to be one of the most dangerous fighters in the world with his devastating kicks. He rose to fame in the Japanese-based Pride organization claiming victories over Josh Barnett, Mark Coleman, Wanderlei Silva and a slew of other top fighters. Since Cro Cop joined the UFC in 2007 his career has been anything but impressive. After a debut victory over unheralded Eddie Sanchez, Cro Cop was knocked out via a highlight reel headkick by Gabe Gonzaga and was defeated by Cheick Kongo before exiting the UFC. Cro Cop has won 3 fights and had 1 no contest since his departure from the UFC. The no contest occurred in a bout against Alistair Overeem due to illegal groin strikes. Aside from Overeem, Cro Cop he has not fought any top level competition since his loss to Kongo in September of 2007.
While fans of mixed martial arts worldwide cannot be sure exactly what Cro Cop has left to offer inside the cage, they will surely look forward to finding out in the upcoming months.