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Tag: Mirko Filipovic

DREAM 1 Fight Videos: The Short Ones

From Saturday…

Mirko Cro Cop steamrolls Tatsuya Mizuno in 56 seconds.

The night’s freak-show feature: “Minowaman” taps out doughy Korean ex-baseball player Lee Kwan via kneebar.


JZ+Aoki Headline DREAM 1 Fight Lineup

(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…


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

(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…


Yoshihiro Nakao’s Life May Be in Danger


…and not because he tried to kiss Heath Herring again. Rumor has it that the Yakuza has beef with Nakao facing Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic at next week’s DREAM show. According a recent blog entry by Takumi “The Oriental Mystery” Yano (Nakao’s submission trainer, who took the #3 spot in our Sickest Submissions Ever list):

YAKUZA (japanese maffia)is terrible!!
I hear that If NAKAO fight Mirko, YAKUZA will kidnap nakao and abandon him in Tokyo Sea…..

So if the Fightin’ Smoocher mysteriously disappears after DREAM 1, you know where to find him.

The idea of the Yakuza trying to exert control over the new DREAM promotion is plausible to say the least — their alleged involvement in PRIDE is part of what sunk the defunct organization, and when ex-PRIDE staffers and K-1 execs came together to launch DREAM, criminal elements may have remained. (Read this for a surface-scratching recent history.) But who knows why they’d want to block Nakao from fighting Cro Cop. Could it have more to do with Mirko than Nakao?

(Props: FightOpinion)


Cro Cop, Sakurai Get New DREAM Opponents; Gomi/Ludwig to Rematch

(Mach Sakurai works over Mac Danzig at PRIDE 33.)

A lot of news coming from Japan in the wake of Sengoku’s first show and the run-up to next week’s DREAM debut… reports that Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has finally gotten an opponent for the first DREAM show, with only nine days to spare. As Mirko wrote on his official blog: “A little over an hour ago I was contacted by DREAM officials. They informed me that my opponent on March 15 will be Yoshihiro Nakao from Japan. It was very important for me to fight as soon as possible and I’m happy that DREAM was able to find the opponent for me.” You may remember Nakao as the dude Heath Herring knocked out after a tender expression of affection was misinterpreted as an insult; hopefully Nakao won’t make that mistake again. DREAM1 goes down next Saturday at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.

— Hayato “Mach” Sakurai has also locked down an opponent for the DREAM show. As SukiMMA translates from his blog: “I fight Hidetaka Monma from Keisyukai. One foreign fighter and one Japanese fighter canceled and finally I got an opponent!” Monma has a 14-7-3 record, with notable wins over…well, basically nobody. The Sakurai/Monma fight doesn’t seem to be a part of the lightweight Grand Prix that’s also going down at DREAM1, but it should be an ugly rout just like the Cro Cop/Nakao feature.


Cro Cop Overly Trustful of the Japanese, Wants to Fight Fedor on New Year’s Eve


A new Croatian interview with Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (translated here) sheds a lot more light on the heavyweight’s reasons for leaving the UFC and his goals in the new DREAM organization and beyond. Some highlights:

On non-financial reasons for parting ways with the UFC: “I was in full training and wanted to compete in March. However, the UFC couldn’t find me an opponent that fast and I didn’t want to stop my preparations and start all over again for a match in May. Besides I was HUNGRY for a fight and nervous (anxious) like a dog…I asked for a rematch with Gonzaga but that was not possible because he lost to Werdum. Then I asked for Kongo but that wasn’t possible either.”

On business practices that will eventually screw him: “Although I didn’t sign any contract [with DREAM] we came to an agreement for 3 fights in March, June and September. I never had written contracts with the Japanese because we have always done business by oral agreement.”

On returning to the UFC: “I’m going to go back to the UFC without a doubt…The date of return depends on a possible fight with Fedor. The fight should take place on 31st December if Fedor accepts. If that fails I’ll be back in the UFC by the end of this year.”

On his “psychological crisis”: “I lost that killer instinct. I lost 5kg (10lb) before the fight with Kongo, I had a hard time wanting to train and on the day of the fight I thought to myself: Why do I even need this, why am I fighting a guy I have never seen before. I was fed up with it all.”

On diplomacy: “I have managed to come to terms with Dana and I’m thankful for his cooperation and understanding.”

Wow, so Fedor could potentially get a legitimate opponent at the end of this year? Crossed fingers! Emelianenko previously won a lackluster decision over Filipovic at PRIDE Final Conflict 2005 — Fedor was injured, Cro Cop was jet-lagged — but whatever, it’s something. Filipovic will be fighting Mr. X at DREAM’s inaugural show at the Saitama Super Arena on March 15th.



Cro Cop…OUT!

(“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.”


Fight of the Day: Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. Wanderlei Silva

It was the beginning of the Axe-Murderer’s current career-slide, and one of the greatest beat-downs in recent MMA history. In this open-weight match at PRIDE Final Conflict Absolute 2006, Mirko Cro Cop swarms Wanderlei Silva like a rabid bear until he sets up a signature head kick at the end of the first round, leaving Silva in a mental haze that followed him through his subsequent matches against Dan Henderson and Chuck Liddell. We highly recommend you skip past 2:17-5:45, which has to be the longest mid-fight medical clearance of all time.