Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic’s nine-fight UFC career has been one of can-crushing highs and head-rattling lows. After suffering consecutive knockout loses against Frank Mir and Brendan Schaub, Dana White claimed that we’d seen the last of Cro Cop in the UFC. But DW had a change of heart yesterday, telling reporters that he owes Filipovic another fight, and the 36-year-old Croatian veteran will be returning to the Octagon. As he explained:
“Do I think he should have retired? Yeah. But I don’t think he’s in one of these situations where — I felt Chuck Liddell needed to retire right then. Listen, he’s a man, he’s a grown man. If he wants to continue to fight, that’s his right. And he still has a fight with me.”
Of course, Dana could easily cut Mirko’s contract if he wanted to; having fights left on your contract is no guarantee of job security in the UFC. White must feel that there’s at least one more marketable fight out there for Cro Cop. Do you use him to put over another young contender? Do you book him against another PRIDE-era old timer — say, Nogueira if he loses to Schaub? Do you give him a co-headlining spot on a Versus broadcast against the caliber of opponent that he’s beaten in the past? Is there anybody left who even cares?
A return date or opponent for Filipovic has not yet been announced.