Former UFC/ PrideFC heavyweight fighter Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic was scheduled to participate at the DREAM 5 event on July 21st. DREAM 5 is scheduled to take place at the Osaka-jo Hall venue in Osaka, Japan.
Cro Cop was supposed to take on K-1’s heavyweight superstar Jerome Lebanner, but he dropped out of the fight card. We then learned that Siala-Mou "Mighty Mo" Siligia would be the replacement fighter to take on Cro Cop, but he too decided to pull out with short notice. Due to this, PrideFC’s 2006 open-weight grand prix champion decided that this was the best time to go through with the surgery he had been holding back for quite some time now.
Here’s a snip from Cro Cop’s personal online blog:
"I’ve been having problems with my right elbow for years, and the injury got even worse over last six months…I’m already receiving a proper treatment, but the recovery won’t happen overnight…The second problem is a knee injury — something that [has troubled] me for quite a while. I had difficulties using my kicks, and over last few weeks, I focused more on boxing and grappling…My career is far from being over…I’ll be fighting some strong competitors soon again, and hopefully, I’ll meet Fedor in the ring once more in 2009."
The DREAM 5 fight card will feature several exciting bouts including the final round of DREAM’s Lightweight Grand Prix tournament. Shinya Aoki will take on Cael Uno as part of the semi-finals. Eddie Alvarez will battle it out with Tatsuya Kawajiri as part of the second semi-final. Winners of each bout will fight that same night for DREAM’s first Lightweight Grand Prix champion.
The only other official fight for that night is the featherweight bout between Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto vs. American fighter Joseph Benavidez. Several other matches are expected to go on, but the complete card has not been released just yet.