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Cro Cop withdraws from DREAM 5; schedules surgery

Former PRIDE and UFC heavyweight Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic has withdrawn from the July 21 DREAM card due to a bum elbow and a mishandling of opponents according to his official blog.

From the Croat:

Unfortunately I have some bad news– I won't be fighting at DREAM 5 at all. I was about to face Jerome LeBanner but he decided to fight in K1 against [Semmy] Schilt. Mighty Mo was the alternative and I accepted this challenge, but unfortunately Mighty Mo pulled off from the fight. I was ready to face Mo, but maybe this scenario wasn't that bad for me at all...

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 the 21.

Now that looks like it won't happen either and judging from his tone, Filipovic sounds like he could use the reprieve.

I've been having problems with my right elbow for years and the injury got even worse over last 6 months. I'm already receiving a proper treatment but the recovery won't happen over night. The second problem is a knee injury, something that troubles me for quite a while. I had difficulties using my kicks and over last few weeks I focused more on boxing and grappling. I really wanted to fight on July 21 and I was even ignoring doctor's suggestions, but now I've reached the point from which I can't continue with my normal training regiment due to my injuries.
Filipovic is scheduled for arthroscopy Monday morning and will not be able to perform any sort of MMA training for at least 2-3 weeks. He's currently eying a September return and is gunning for current Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem who has accused the Croation of ducking him on more than one occasion.
No official statement has been made from DREAM officials on how this will affect the July 21 card but be sure to stay tuned as this story continues to unfold.

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