(“I got your pay cut right here…”)
And so ends the sad tale of Mirko Filipovic joining the UFC; alack, t’wasn’t meant to be.
After the UFC tried to downwardly re-negotiate terms on the the struggling heavyweight legend’s contract, Mirko Cro Cop said “Ne slažem se,” then flew to Japan where he announced his signing to a new fight club called DREAM. The Japanese promotion was recently founded by Fight Entertainment Group (owners of K-1) along with former executives of Dream Stage Entertainment (PRIDE).
We’re not so much feelin’ the name, but these dudes are coming out swinging: In addition to a heavyweight bout between Filipovic and a yet-unnamed opponent, DREAM’s inaugural show at the Saitama Super Arena on March 15th will also include the first round of a lightweight Grand Prix tournament which will feature that fight between Shinya Aoki and Gesias “JZ” Calvancante. Nightmare of Battle reports that such international stars as Gilbert Melendez, Andre Dida, Mitsuhiro Ishida, Caol Uno, Joachim Hansen, and Luiz Azeredo will also be participating in the tournament, and MMA Junkie says that Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto and Kazushi Sakuraba have been booked for bouts at the first DREAM show as well.
Though no formal statement from the UFC has been released yet, we’re looking forward to Dana White calling Cro Cop a “farce” who “isn’t a top-ten heavyweight anyway.”