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Cro Cop Not a Done Deal for UFC 99; Ishii Signs With Sengoku

(Come on, man — think of all the good times you had here! Photo courtesy of

UPDATE, 12:35 p.m. ET: Cro Cop is official for UFC 99.

The UFC’s quest for foreign expansion is hitting some spike-strips, with two big-name fighters potentially slipping out of their grasp. First off, despite his blog-post enthusiasm that led everyone to believe he’d be returning to the Octagon at UFC 99, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic still hasn’t signed a contract with the UFC. As Dave Meltzer explains:

[T]he fight isn’t being advertised, but everyone is still under the impression Cro Cop is fighting on the show in Cologne, Germany. They wanted Cro Cop to sell tickets to people coming in from Croatia, but the longer they wait to announce it, the harder it’ll be to get people to travel in. They were hopeful [his contract] be signed by tomorrow but there is a holdup that doesn’t have to do with Cro Cop/UFC negotiations.

The UFC’s intention in re-signing Cro Cop was to get a major European name to sell tickets for their Germany card, so Filipovic’s value to the organization is dropping with each passing hour; if this goes on any longer, Heavy D and the Boyz may decide that Mirko isn’t worth the effort. As for that mysterious "holdup," Fightlinker speculates that DREAM may be negotiating with Filipovic to get him to appear on their summer fight card.

While Cro Cop’s UFC return is somewhat uncertain at this point, one fighter who definitely won’t be fighting in the UFC any time soon is Satoshi Ishii. Apparently the endless gifts of free UFC swag and the chance to meet Brock Lesnar weren’t enough to convince the 2008 Olympic Judo gold medalist to fight for an American organization, as he announced at a press conference in Tokyo today that he will be signing a multi-fight contract with Sengoku. Ishii explained that the reasons for his decision spanned everything from a desire to fight in front of his grandmother before she dies, to the possibility of facing Josh Barnett at some point.

Along with Yoshihiro Akiyama, Ishii was pursued by the UFC in hopes that he’d headline a future event in Japan; they made a website for it and everything. Instead, he comes over here, sucks some knowledge from Randy Couture, goes bird-dogging with Thiago Alves, and then goes home so he can fight for a B-level organization in his own country. What’s the Japanese word for chutzpah?

Cagepotato Comments

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Cosmin- June 1, 2009 at 10:49 pm
Sengoku is nearly A-level.

They put on matches that make sense from a competition standpoint, which sets them apart from Dream's freakshows.
One Two- June 1, 2009 at 9:31 pm
guess ya got a point jay that list has some good fighters (mainly nog) sengoku doesn't have much i was thinking more in terms of everyone else not in UFC

Dmonicideals- June 1, 2009 at 5:36 pm
And CroCop is done for. About to be embarrassed. Again.
Dmonicideals- June 1, 2009 at 5:31 pm
Ishii not going right to the UFC is a good idea. He could use a good 3-4 fights with lower lvl competition on a smaller stage, then maybe start thinking about bringing him in for a few undercards if he is a winner, but if he goes 1-3 in his 1st four fights against B-LVL competition, the UFC was definitely the last place he needed to come learn at. That is not to say that he won't do well, because he certainly has the tools, but this is MMA, not Olympic Judo. Let's see how he transitions before we start giving him UFC belts.
classicwater- June 1, 2009 at 1:22 pm
isn't it like some sort of curse to have six main card bouts?
UFC fan- June 1, 2009 at 1:08 pm
I can't believe that the UFC wants that worthless piece of shit crow-crap back. If they want to attract fans, then hang his dead corpse outside that will make more fans happy than signing him and giving him more money to suck as hard or worse since last time. Pathetic excuse to pull that useless NON fighter back from obscurity.
831 Son- June 1, 2009 at 12:01 pm
Well said Jimma.
Cathedron- June 1, 2009 at 10:42 am
I knew Ishii wouldn't sign to the UFC. He was just enjoying the attention and using the UFC's interest to raise his value in Japan. I still expect him to transition to pro-wrestling in the next few years (although, based on the Super Hulk fights, I'd say the Japanese orgs might turn into pro-wrestling by then anyway).

I'm hoping to see Cro Cop look good, but I can't help but feel that his best days are behind him.
Jay Smith- June 1, 2009 at 10:33 am
@ One Two
Who does Sengoku have?
Sneaky Pete- June 1, 2009 at 9:58 am
Oh, the Japanese word for chutzpah is ???.

??? FTW!!!!
drummer- June 1, 2009 at 9:04 am
it,s offical. just posted on the UFC website Crocop will be fighting Al Turk in Germany on June 13.
One Two- June 1, 2009 at 8:48 am
hes a heavyweight isn't he? why would he join UFC theres no heavyweights worth a shit in the UFC.
JiMMA- June 1, 2009 at 8:33 am
Sengoku absolutely is not an A level organization.

With that being said, in my opinion, Sengoku must be a B level (or lower) player.

No disrespect to the org. because they put on some good quality fights.

They just are not a 100% well rounded production and they do not have quality top tier fighters in abundance at there disposal.

[summary](Sengoku = B LvL) [/summary]
Kim Couture is a cunt- June 1, 2009 at 8:28 am
Senguko, WVR are both horrid orgs, fuck Ishii. He just doesnt wanna get smashed right off the bat. Kudo's to him as well I guess. Bringing yourself along slowly isnt so dumb.
Lumberjack86- June 1, 2009 at 7:34 am
Sengoku has gomi, nogueira, barnett, king mo, Fujita, Yoshida, and a lot of others fighting for them. Its hardly a B-level organization.
Swedish- June 1, 2009 at 7:27 am
Ishii fears real competition and would prefer the freak show that is Sengoku.

The only debate here is if the Sengoku should be considered a C-level organization or B-level
BM2- June 1, 2009 at 6:52 am
What the fuck. Sengoku is not B-level.