It appears Mirko Filipovic may not be done with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) after all ... just when it seemed that he would never step foot inside the Octagon ever again.
Despite company president Dana White going bananas after hearing that the Croatian allegedly signed a three-fight with DREAM immediately after his win over Mustafa Al-Turk, Index.hr is reporting that UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta flew out to Zagreb to personally talk to Filipovic about a possible UFC return.
The pair reportedly sat down and talked for two hours at Cro Cop's house. And when it was all over, Fertitta apparently boarded his plane with a huge grin plastered on his face, saying that he made the Pride FC 2006 Open Weight Grand Prix winner "an offer he can’t refuse."
This is certainly quite a turn of events, considering Cro Cop had not only ditched the UFC in favor of Japan’s Fighting & Entertainment Group (FEG), but he also apparently agreed to battle K-1 star Siala-Mou Siligia in a mixed martial arts showdown at DREAM 10 from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, on July 20.
However, it was recently revealed that the famed Croatian striker was hospitalized after reportedly suffering from high temperature, diarrhea and stomach pain -- the textbook symptoms of Salmonella -- putting the bout in jeopardy.
Now it may be off entirely if the latest news is indeed accurate.
"Cro Cop" most recently competed at UFC 99: "The Comeback," making a brief return to the Octagon to defeat British heavyweight Mostapha Al-turk in controversial fashion -- an inadvertent eye poke that was missed by the referee that led to the victory.
In the wake of UFC 99, White gave "Cro Cop" a verbal lashing for welshing on a supposed verbal deal for more fights under the UFC banner. Filipovic refuted the claim, saying the deal was for only one fight and that he would renegotiate after the event.
Then he appeared to be returning to the Land of the Rising Sun — the country that made him a star — because he wanted to fight multiple times this year and claimed the UFC expected him to wait six months for another fight.
Nothing about this whole situation seems to be crystal clear. Did he officially sign with DREAM? Will his next fight be in the UFC? And what repercussions if any will come from this soap opera?
For now, it looks like we will have to wait a little longer to know for certain the conclusion of Cro Cop‘s fate, but it appears he could be headed back to the Octagon ... maybe.