It seems former PRIDE and UFC heavyweight Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (23-6-2) is not enjoying his self-imposed sabbatical from mixed martial arts thanks to current Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem (28-11).
My desire to fight Cro Cop began when I read his interview stating nobody wanted to fight him and that’s why he fought some walking-punching bag-guy [Tatsuya Mizuno] at Dream 3. My management offered me a fight with him at that event and he declined. Then at the K-1 Amsterdam event my opponent got injured and the promoter attempted to arrange for Mirko to fight, again he declined… …This really pissed me off because now my fight was canceled because this douche-bag didn’t want to fight me while he was saying nobody wants to fight him. That’s crap, and that’s why I grabbed the microphone, and I’ll keep doing so until I get this fight. I will get him.
Cro Cop hasn’t competed since DREAM 1 back in March after being fed Tatsuya Mizuno in his much ballyhooed debut. He was penciled in to face Jerome LeBanner at DREAM 4, until it was switched to a bizarre grappling match against Ralek Gracie - pushing the LeBanner fight to DREAM 5 on July 21.
After Lebanner went AWOL and his injuries started acting up, Filipovic bailed on DREAM 5, instead opting to sit on the sidelines and rebuild his aging body after having arthroscopy earlier this month.
The latest response from the Croat’s official blog:
Regarding [DREAM 6 on] September 23, I'm expected to fight, but nothing is still officially confirmed. I leave this to DREAM and I have no doubt that I'll be there on that card, fighting whoever they put me against. I'm hoping to face a top ranked fighter, preferably Alistair Overeem. I'm familiar with his latest interviews and many people already asking me what do I think about his words. I don't like commenting other fighters, it's not my thing. But Alistair, you should save your strength for a real fight, because it's coming. When I see you in the opposite corner, then I'll talk.
Hopefully Cro Cop has one last run in him. He’s a gifted striker who can easily compete with any top ten heavyweight, but his tenure in the UFC left many wondering if his best days were behind him.
If Cro Cop can indeed return to action against the resurgent Overeem at DREAM 6 in September, we may have the answer sooner rather than later.