The former Pride 2006 Open Weight Grand Prix champion, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, is set to make his UFC return since losing to Cheick Kongo at UFC 75 back in September of 2007. After losing back to back bouts to Gonzaga and then to Kongo, Cro Cop took a break from the octagon and went off to fight in Japan at the DREAM promotion.
The Croatian law enforcement officer made his debut over at DREAM with a victory over Tatsuya Mizuno via TKO (strikes) at DREAM 1 and then acquired a No Contest against Alistair Overeem at DREAM 6 due to knees to the groin. His last MMA fight was a win over Hong Man Choi at K-1’s Dynamite on New Year’s Eve of 2008.
On May 18th Cro Cop announced on his official website and his ‘MMA Id’ account that he would be fighting Mustapha Al-Turk at UFC 99 in Cologne, Germany.
Snip from Mirko Cro Cop himself:
“I decided to fight in the UFC again, because of the stronger competition in the heavyweight division. My next opponent will be Mustapha Al-Turk. I didn’t do well in my first three appearances – I wasn’t myself. By returning to the cage I want to prove that I can still fight at highest level, no matter when or where. It’s hard to talk about concrete plans, but I would really like to fight at least three times this year. I wish to fight against quality opponents and to fight my way up to a title shot but for now, I’ll focus only on my next fight and after that we’ll see what’s going to be on the menu next. I want to say thank you Mr. Dana White for your interest and for an invitation back to the UFC. I owe you a lot from our first deal, and I’ll make it up to you.”