Shortly after breaking the news that Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira has been forced to pull out of a scheduled bout with Frank Mir, FightersOnly.com has confirmed that Pride Fighting Championships 2006 Openweight Grand Prix winner Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic will step in for the injured Nogueira.
“Cro Cop” earned his legendary status during his tenure in Pride FC where he became famous for his devastating head kicks, which introduced many world class fighters to unconsciousness. After Pride FC was dissolved by Zuffa LLC (parent company of the UFC), “Cro Cop” entered into the UFC to test himself against its crop of heavyweight fighters. The results were less than stellar as he went 1-2 and was the victim of a vicious head kick-knockout himself when he took on Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 70. “Cro Cop” would depart from the UFC at that time to fight in smaller promotions (Dream and Dynamite!); he would earn a record of 2-0-0, 1 NC with the No Contest being the result of knees to the groin delivered by current Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem. Filipovic then reentered the UFC and has gone 3-1 since, with his only loss coming against current number two heavyweight contender Junior dos Santos at UFC 103. He is currently on a two-fight win streak with his most recent victory coming over Pat Barry; Filipovic submitted the young kickboxer via rear naked choke this past June at UFC 115.
According to Fighters Only’s source, Nogueira’s removal from the card is not the result of a recurrence with staph.
“Cro Cop” will face former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir in the main event of UFC 119, which is scheduled to go down this September 25th at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. The event will mark the UFC’s first foray into Indiana.