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Mirko Cro Cop: Leg injury and schedule change not a factor in upcoming fight against Jerome LeBanner

Former UFC and PRIDE heavyweight Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic will fight K-1 superstar Jerome LeBanner on at DREAM 5 on July 20 -- not at DREAM 4 on June 15 as originally planned -- according to

While it was reported by that Cro Cop suffered a minor knee injury during training, X-Rays revealed no damage and the Croat is continuing his preparations as normal.


"Yes, I'm going to fight on July 20. I was looking forward to appearing on the DREAM 4 card on June 15 and I based my preparations on that. I suffered a minor leg injury last week, but it doesn't affect my trainings. During a wrestling session, I slipped and felt pain in my left knee, but the medical exams have confirmed that no damage was done. I'm wearing a special bandage just as a precaution."

Cro Cop most recently recovered from back-to-back losses inside the Octagon (Gabriel Gonzaga and Cheick Kongo) to take out Tatsuya Mizuno with ease during the inaugural show for DREAM last month. He has vowed to put together at least three consecutive wins and return to the UFC as early as January 2009 to redeem himself.

However, a rematch with Fedor Emelianenko on New Year’s Eve possibly stands in his way, as well as the French-born, LeBanner.

LeBanner has not competed in mixed martial arts since 2006. And although his MMA experience is limited, his kickboxing resume is not. In fact, he’s been in against the best, including Ernesto Hoost, Peter Aerts, Semmy Schilt, Mark Hunt and others.

Cro Cop and LeBanner have actually competed against one another during a K-1 event in 1996, which the Croatian won via unanimous decision. Expect a similar bout: Striking, striking and more striking. It would be a total shock if this match hits the canvas.

We will bring you more information on the event and venue for this fight as soon as it becomes available.

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