K-1, Pride, Glory, UFC, Dream…Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipović (30-11-2, 1 NC MMA) has been there and done that. The Legendary Kickboxer will bring his record-proven skills back to the UFC. Originally reported by Bloody Elbow and confirmed by Ariel Helwani, the former K-1 champion is returning to the octagon.
Last week, Bellator MMA president Scott Coker was reportedly in talks with Cro Cop last week. As Coker told MMA Fighting,
“We had several conversations, but I’m not sure to what extent he’s ready to come to America and fight,” Coker stated. “But we’ve had some conversations.”
“If you saw how good he looked in Japan, it was pretty impressive,” Coker said. “We’re going to continue and see how things go, but these things take time sometimes. We’ll see.”
Whatever progress was made with Bellator MMA must be off the table, as the UFC has swooped up the veteran.
Legend, veteran, expert, call Cro Cop whatever you want–he has been in the hurt business for a long time. Cro Cop’s list of accomplishments are extensive, winning the K-1 Grand Prix in 2012 and the Pride World Grand Prix Open-Weight Championship in 2006. While he is 40 years old, both Bellator and the UFC must believe he still has the draw to generate viewer interest.
Cro Cop last competed in the UFC in 2011, suffering 3 consecutive TKO losses to Frank Mir, Brendan Schaub and Roy Nelson. Since leaving the UFC in 2011, he has gone 3-1 in his last 4 MMA fights, most recently defeating IGF champion Satoshi Ishii back-to-back in Japan’s Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye.
Do you think Cro Cop can still bring strong numbers to the UFC? Who do you want to see him fight in the UFC heavyweight Roster?