Cro Cop confirms Hong Man Choi as opponent

For the last few weeks rumors have been circulating that Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic would be facing off against Hong Man Choi at this New Year’s Eve K-1 Dynamite card. Now Cro Cop has confirmed the MMA rules match up in his blog:

I’m excited to let you know that I have accepted DREAM’s offer to fight against Hong-man Choi on December 31 at Dynamite show. We arranged all details and the contract has been signed – the fight is officialy on.

The Croation, Filipovic, known to fans as Cro Cop, has recently been trying to put his career back together after a less than impressive stint in the UFC. He debuted February of 2007 with a great deal of fan fare, and defeated Eddie Sanchez late in the first round.

He seemed on the way toward a heavyweight title showdown with Randy Couture, but Gabriel Gonzaga derailed those plans with a vicious head kick. A subsequent decision loss to Cheick Kongo ended his tenure with the promotion.

In March of this year Cro Cop surfaced with the new FEG backed Dream promotion. He dominated his debut fight against the overmatched Tatsuya Mizuno, but did not fare so well in his next fight. Alistair Overeem seemed to be controlling the match when he landed multiple knees to the groin. The referee was forced to halt the action and declare the fight a no contest.

Last New Year’s Eve, Hong Man Choi faced off against heavyweight kingpin Fedor Emelianenko in just his second MMA fight. Although he damaged the former Pride champion, Choi was forced to tap due to an arm bar less than two minutes into the fight.

In April of this year it was announced that Choi would be forced to enlist in the Army of his native Republic of Korea. His tour of duty was to be for 26 months, but he failed multiple medical tests due to a brain tumor. In July the tumor was removed and he has returned to combat sports.

His first fight back was a September K-1 rules showdown with Badr Hari; Choi’s corner threw in the towel before the fourth round due to continued shots to the ribs. In his most recent fight, earlier this month, Choi lost a decision to Ray Sefo.

-Richard Mann