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Tag: Mirko Cro Cop

Cro Cop Tells UFC to Stuff It, Signs Three-Fight Deal With DREAM


(Cro Cop vs. Al Turk Props: MMA Linker)

Dana White’s over-the-phone verbal contract with Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic prior to UFC 99 was the first time he’d done a deal with a fighter without getting it in writing, or negotiating in person. We’re guessing it’ll also be his last. The big scandal coming out of Germany after yesterday’s show is the surprise news that Cro Cop had already signed a new three-fight deal with DREAM by the time he stepped into the Octagon against Mostapha Al Turk (video above). Though Cro Cop had previously told White that he wanted to officially sign for two more fights in the UFC and make a run for the heavyweight title, the truth came out following Mirko’s TKO victory via eye-pokes. As you can imagine, DW was seeing red in the post-show press-conference:

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Mirko Cro Cop Announces His UFC Return; Will Fight Al-Turk Next

Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic Hunt
(Mirko celebrates his 2002 K-1 victory over King Hippo.)

Holy crap! It seems that scoring wins over Tatsuya Mizuno and Hong Man Choi — and getting his nuts kicked in by Alistair Overeem — was enough to earn Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic an invite back to the UFC; the Croatian legend ended his first Octagon run in early 2008 after becoming the biggest bust in UFC history. Here’s the word directly from Cro Cop’s MMA-ID blog:

Back in UFC!
So we have some big news! I decided to fight in the UFC again, because of the stronger competition in the heavyweight division. My next opponent will be Mustapha Al-Turk. I didn’t do well in my first three appearances – I wasn’t myself. By returning to the cage I want to prove that I can still fight at highest level, no matter when or where.
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Affliction/Dream Co-Promotion Rumor Is So Crazy It’s Almost Sane

Mirko Cro Cop
(‘And what is deal with airline food? Is no good, am I right?’)

Want to hear something totally insane and probably not true?  That was a rhetorical question.  Of course you want to hear this.  According to a Croatian newspaper article translated for us by Robert of betwwx.com, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic’s next bout will be this July in an Affliction/Dream co-promotional event full of all kinds of fights that only sort of make sense.  

The article quotes Cro Cop as saying that he’d like to fight four times this year (he knows it’s already mid-April and he’s fought zero times so far this year, right?) and five times in 2010, so the credibility of this report seems strained to begin with.  But then the article declares that the “only certainty” is a Cro Cop-Alistair Overeem rematch on a July 20 Affliction/Dream co-promotion in Japan.  Also on that card, according to this report, will be Fedor Emelianenko taking on Jeff Monson and Josh Barnett facing off against Andrei Arlovski.

Whoa, let’s back up a second, Croatian newspaper.  Now who’s this Fedor guy anyway and what has he done to deserve a shot at "The Snowman"?

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Great Moments in MMA Product Endorsement

I guess you could call this CagePotato’s first original highlight reel. We rounded up the most insane TV commercials starring MMA fighters and stuffed them into a single video for your convenience and enjoyment. Some of them are beloved classics; some you’ve probably never seen before. Noticeably absent are the unauthorized Fedor Emelianenko honey-drink spot (because we’d like to avoid any rude letters from Fedor’s lawyers), and the Rich Franklin “Xyience Teacher” commercial (because it seems to have disappeared from the Internet). But if we’ve left out any other good ones, shoot us some links in the comments section. As Randy Couture might say, “Oh, you’re gonna like this.”

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Rothwell Confirms Affliction Bout With Arlovski

Andrei Arlovski FCF

The source for this one is a bit shaky, but Fightline is passing along news that Ben Rothwell will indeed be taking on Andrei Arlovski at Affliction: Banned (July 19th; Anaheim, CA) according to a Sherdog thread where Rothwell personally confirms it. As Rothwell writes:

I tried to never say if i was/was not fighting AA but most all the forum took it that way, sorry i guess.

anyway I’m excited to fight a top10 HW, so thanks for the support, peace

CagePotato reported this rumor two weeks ago, but there has been no official statement from the organization yet. Speaking of Arlovski, the Pitbull’s presence in an upcoming Adrenaline MMA meet-and-greet could suggest that he will fight for that outfit as well.

In other non-UFC news…

— HDNet has agreed to broadcast Adrenaline MMA’s first three fight cards. The first one is going down June 14th in Chicago (headlined by Jeff Monson vs. Mike Russow), and the second is slated for September 6th in Moline, Illinois, and will feature Tim Sylvia and Ben Rothwell; yep, just like the first Affliction show. Personally, we wouldn’t book Tim to fight less than two months after throwing down with Fedor Emelianenko, but hey, we’re not Monte Cox.

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Cro Cop to Fight Kharitonov?

SK

Can you read whatever this language is? Well, according to RedSweat, those bizarre combinations of letters and accent-marks suggest that Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic will take on PRIDE vet Sergei Kharitonov (pictured above) at DREAM 4 in mid-June. As the story goes:

Crocop was supposed to fight Kharitonov at the recent DREAM.1 event but Mirko turned down the bout stating that Sergei would be too tough a match for him after a six month break.

[*cough*]pussy! Sporting a 15-3 record, Kharitonov holds notable victories over Murilo Rua, Fabricio Werdum, and Pedro Rizzo, but he hasn’t fought since a K-1 HERO’s event last September, where he avenged an earlier loss to Alistair Overeem. We hope this matchup is legit, because it seems like a perfect test to determine if Cro Cop still has his fighting spirit, or if he lost it completely in the UFC’s cage.

Allegedly, an official announcement will be made at DREAM 2, which is scheduled to take place on April 29th. That event will host the first round of DREAM’s Middleweight GP.

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JZ+Aoki Headline DREAM 1 Fight Lineup

JZA
(Sorry bro, rock beats finger.)

Nightmare of Battle has the official fight order for Saturday’s highly-anticipated DREAM show. Notably, the fight between Gesias Calvancante and Shinya Aoki will headline the event, Cro Cop’s match with Tatsuya Mizuno will serve as a break between the first half of the lightweight tournament bouts and the second, and the opener will be Ikuhisa Minowa in an “open-weight” fight against a freak to be named tomorrow. Cutting it kind of close, huh? Anyway, the lineup goes like this:

Lightweight Tournament 1st Round (second group)
10. J.Z. Calvan vs. Shinya Aoki
9. Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Black Mamba (Kultar Gill)
8. Andre Dida vs. Eddie Alvarez

Heavyweight Feature
7. Mirko CroCop vs. Tatsuya Mizuno

Lightweight Tournament 1st Round (first group)
6. Mitsuhiro Ishida vs. Jung Bu Kyung
5. Katsuhiko Nagata vs. Artur Umakhanov
4. Kazuyuki Miyata vs. Luis Buscape
3. Kotetsu Boku vs. Joachim Hansen

Welterweight Feature
2. Hayato Sakurai vs. Hidetaka Monma (correction: This fight isn’t part of the lightweight tournament, as we said yesterday. Props to reader “robnashville” for being smarter than us.)

Open Weight Fight
1. Minowaman vs. TBA

Christ, I’d give my left nipple to be at this show. Joachim Hansen could be a dark horse to win it all, though most likely the eventual winner will be the guy who survives Saturday’s main event. Calvancante’s utter domination of his past opponents make him the obvious front-runner, and he’s been working with Eddie Bravo to deal with Aoki’s rubber guard and straightjacket-like grappling. There are some interesting betting lines here, which list Ishida/Kyung-Jung as the biggest first-round mismatch (-1000/+550), Kawajiri as the favorite to win the entire tournament, and Kultar “Black Mamba” Gill as a laughable +3800 under-underdog to go all the way. Holler at a brotha’s comments section if you have any big predictions for the show…

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Cro Cop’s *New* New Opponent; DREAM Rules Announced

TM
(Wow. Good luck, man.)

Yoshihiro Nakao must have just realized he had a previous engagement or something, because DREAM is now saying that Tatsuya Mizuno will instead be taking on Mirko Filipovic at DREAM’s debut show this Saturday in Japan. And is Mizuno a worthy opponent for Cro Cop? Oh, sure! I mean, after all, we’re talking about a guy with a 4-2 record in Pancrase, who’s been previously stomped by Thiago Silva and UFC washout Assuerio Silva. He should present a stiff challenge to Mirko — still, we’re calling it for Cro Cop via head kick KO, nine seconds into round one. But fortunately, we think this opponent will finally stick, and we hope Mizuno can train hard over the next four days by taking lots of naps. It’ll be an honor just to meet Filipovic’s left foot.

One thing that Mizuno won’t have to worry about is being soccer kicked when he’s down. Nightmare of Battle has a translation of the DREAM rules, which work out like this:

— 10 minute first round, 5 minute second round, 90 seconds between rounds.

— Fights are judged in their entirety and no draws are possible.

— Stomps and soccer kicks to the head of a grounded opponent are not allowed, but knees to the head of a grounded opponent are allowed. If both fighters are on the ground, head kicks are allowed. If there is a 15 kg or more weight difference, no stomps, soccer kicks, or knees to the head of a grounded opponent are allowed.

Due to the sizable difference in talent, Cro Cop will also be blindfolded. And the betting line still has him as a -950 favorite…

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Cro Cop…OUT!

MCC
(“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.”

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Weekend MMA News Cruise

CC
(Is Cro Cop leaving the UFC?)

Here’s what else was happening in the world while your thoughts were being dominated by Brock Lesnar:

Gary Herman of 15 Rounds reports that Brandon Vera will be returning to the Octagon in June against a yet-unnamed opponent, and Dana White has given Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic a deadline of today to decide whether he wants to remain in the UFC; Filipovic’s last fight was a decision loss to Cheick Kongo at UFC 75 in September 2007.

— Josh Barnett announced on his MySpace blog that his next fight will be against Hidehiko Yoshida at World Victory Road’s Sengoku event on March 5th in Tokyo. Barnett hasn’t competed in a professional MMA bout since his unanimous decision loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at PRIDE Shockwave on New Year’s Eve 2006. Yoshida is a former Olympic gold medalist in judo who has a 7-5-1 MMA record, with notable wins over Don Frye, Mark Hunt, and David “Tank” Abbott. According to Barnett, M-1 never offered him a fight with Aleksander Emelianenko, and the rumored Roger Gracie/Yoshida matchup is total rubbish.

— Because of a military commitment, Tim Kennedy has been forced to drop out of the IFL’s season opener at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on February 29th. Though he was scheduled to face middleweight champion Matt Horwich for the 185-pound belt, a new press release has announced that Kennedy has been “called to service,” and that Ryan McGivern will be taking his place. A member of Pat Miletich’s Silverbacks team, McGivern has a professional record of 11-5, and previously defeated Horwich by unanimous decision at the IFL Championship Final on 12/29/06.

In a post-UFC 81 interview with Mr. Sunshine, Dana White referred to Hong Man Choi as “Long Duk Dong.” Funny or offensive, depending on your perspective.

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