"Cro Cop" Set To Return To UFC

Published on January 21st, 2015 2:58 am EST

The UFC revealed earlier today that PRIDE legend Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic had agreed to return to the promotion at the age of 40.

According to reports, Bellator (who recently inked Kimbo Slice to a deal) was interested in signing Filipovic to a contract but the UFC ended up beating them to the punch. Whether this was a case of the UFC wanting "Cro Cop" or them simply wanting to keep a name fighter out of another promotion's hands is another question altogether.

This will be Filipovic's third go-around with the UFC. Filipovic was brought in to much fanfare in 2007 when he knocked out Eddie Sanchez before the end of the first round of their fight. The Filipovic hype train, however, was derailed when he was knocked cold by Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 70. A win for Mirko in that fight would have set up a Couture/Filipovic superfight for the ages - instead, "Cro Cop" was kicked out of the title picture and would never return.

Following a loss to Cheick Kongo at UFC 75, Filipovic would go to Japan for three fights before returning to the UFC in June of 2009. Filipovic would post some mixed results as he beat Mostapha Al Turk, Anthony Perosh and Pat Barry but lost to Roy Nelson, Brendan Schaub, Frank Mir and Junior dos Santos. After posting three straight losses, Filipovic made the decision to leave the UFC once again.

Since leaving the UFC for the second time, Filipovic has compiled a 3-1 record in mixed martial arts, including two wins over Satoshi Ishii.

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Who might "Cro Cop" face in his first fight back with the promotion? Will he primarily be used in Europe on UFC Fight Pass cards? How much does Filipovic have left in the tank at this point?


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