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Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic: Staying or Leaving

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UFC fans were abuzz when news hit that popular MMA legend Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic would be making his return to the organization at UFC 99. Apparently the former Pride star made a call to UFC president Dana White, stating his intentions of making a run at the UFC heavyweight championship. A one fight deal was struck over the phone, with a multi-fight deal to be negotiated after his return. But before Mustafa Al-Turk could even regain his vision following the accidental eye poke that ended the fight in Cro Cop’s favour, rumours were already circulating that a possible return to the DREAM organization was in the works for the Croatian. Although Cro Cop flat out denied the story, it was announced soon after that he would indeed be returning to Japan to fight in DREAM 10.


What followed was nothing surprising as the always unabashed White waged a verbal war on the fighter, accusing Cro Cop of reneging on their deal and referring to his actions as “dirty.” Filipovic took the stance that he had only agreed to a one fight deal and had fulfilled his contractual obligations to the UFC. He remained adamant that his future was still uncertain, but despite these claims it seemed all but a sure thing that he had had indeed pulled a fast one on White.

However, new reports indicate that there is in fact a chance that the UFC could be Filipovic’s future home, as UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertida has apparently made a trip to Croatia and tabled an offer the fighter can’t refuse. The new agreement could see Cro Cop fight more frequently than previously discussed, fighting at intervals of less than six months. Neither Filipovic nor the UFC have yet to confirm these claims, but it appears there is still hope for those wishing to see Cro Cop back in the octagon.

Whether or not it’s worth it to be catering to the demands of a fighter past his prime is debatable. Sure, Cro Cop has legions of fans who would be willing to shell out the money to watch his fights and buy various Cro Cop memorabilia, but his UFC debut against carefully selected opponent Mustapha Al Turk was hardly impressive and his other two victories since his departure from the UFC have been against marginal opponents. That being said, if Cro Cop does still have some gas left in the tank it could be a very interesting addition to what is quickly becoming a very stacked Heavyweight division.

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