Former PrideFC veterans Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and Alistair "Demolition Man" Overeem will battle it out in the ring at the DREAM 6 event. After rumors of Cro Cop trying to hide from a bout against Overeem, Cro Cop has finally decided that it was time for him to step into the ring and prove that he isn’t afraid of anyone.
Cro Cop is officially back in action and he’s hungry to step up his game and get involved again with the mixed martial arts flow. The Croatian has continuously stated that he has been training in a goal to become one of the best heavyweights in the world once again. Although he had an era of kicking-butt-and-taking-names at one point in his career, he also had a phase where he just wasn’t that huge threat everyone knew him for. After signing with the UFC organizaiton, Cro Cop attained his debut win over Eddie Sanchez via TKO-punches in the first round. The victory would stop there as he suffered back to back losses to Gabriel Gonzaga and then to French sensation Cheick Kongo. Cro Cop was not mentally there anymore and with tremendous frustration with himself, he admitted it.
He decided to take some time off and was dropped from the UFC until he felt he was ready to come back. Six months later Cro Cop was back, but this time it was in the ring. DREAM had its first event and Cro Cop was part of the fight card as he faced Japanese fighter Tatsuya Mizuno (4-3 before fighting Cro Cop). The Croatian easily took home the victory that night within 56 seconds via TKO-strikes.
This time, Cro Cop will be tested against a very difficult opponent, Alistair Overeem, who has been extremely anxious for this bout. Although they were both a part of PrideFC when it existed back in Japan, the two have never faced each other.
Are both fighters ready for DREAM 6?
Overeem has a 3-fight winning streak going with wins over popular MMA fighters Paul Buentello, Tae Hyun Lee and Mark Hunt. Overeem had called Cro Cop a "douchebag" in the past for supposedly not accepting a fight with him not too long ago. Prior to Overeem’s fight with Lee, he stated "Mirko has been offered to fight me twice, and he has dodged me both times. That’s why I will get on the house microphone and issue him a challenge in the middle of the ring after I have finished the big Korean."
Mirko responded to Overeem’s comments:
"Hi everyone, I’ve just stopped by to comment some statements made by Alistar Overem and his team…It seems to me that some people should mind their own business. I’ve never been offered to fight Alistair Overeem. Why would I decline this offer? I came to DREAM to fight the best and I’m looking forward to see DREAM signing more top level heavyweights. Now when Alistair is officially in DREAM, I’ll be expecting an official offer from DREAM to fight him and I’m going to accept it with pleasure….I’m not on vacation here, I train hard and I’ve never picked my opponents. I fought the best fighters in the world already, I don’t see why I should have seconds thoughts about fighting Alistair Overeem?…I need to fight top level competition and I believe that DREAM is perfectly able to put up a strong heavyweight match-up soon. So it’s up to DREAM, let’s bring it up."
Overeem did indeed defeat the "big Korean" and he has finally been granted a duel against former Pride 2006 open weight grand prix champion. Now that we can finally say Mirko Cro Cop vs. Alistair Overeem at DREAM 6… will Overeem prove that he is a better MMA fighter than Cro Cop or will he be stopped by who was once believed to be as the #2 fighter in the world (right under Fedor Emelianenko). We’ll just have to wait and see…
The bout is scheduled to take place on September 23, 2008 and will be televised on HDNet in North America. Here’s how the DREAM 6 fight card looks so far:
- Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic vs. Alistair "Demolition Man" Overeem
- Sergey Kharitonov vs. Mighty Mo
- Melvin Manhoef vs. Gegard Mousasi
- Zelg Galesic vs. Ronaldo De Souza
- Yoon Dong-Sik vs. Andrews Nakahara
- Hideo Tokoro vs. Atsushi Yamamoto
The rest of the DREAM 6 fight card will be posted once it is complete.