(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.