One of the most devastating strikers in mixed martial arts, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (24-6-2) is returning to the Octagon on June 13th at the appropriately named “UFC 99: The Comeback,” which will take place in Cologne, Germany.
“Cro Cop” announced in a press release on his personal website www.mirko-crocop.com he will be fighting heavyweight Mustapha al Turk (6-4) at UFC 99. Al Turk is coming off a TKO loss to Cheick Kongo at UFC 92.
After reaching legendary status in Japan and establishing himself as one of the top ten heavyweights in the world while fighting in the PRIDE organization, Mirko Filipovic first entered the Octagon at UFC 67 in February 2007 where he won a first round TKO victory over Eddie Sanchez. However, the Croatian striker lost his next two UFC bouts to Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 70 and Cheick Kongo at UFC 75.
Filipovic then left the UFC for his fighting home of Japan where the fans knew and remembered the “old Cro Cop.” He defeated Tatsuya Mizuno in DREAM 1 and Hong Man Choi at K-1 Dynamite and took a “no contest” against Alistair Overeem at DREAM 6 all in 2008.
In the following press release Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic talks about recovering from knee surgery and returning to the UFC against Mustapha al Turk on June 13th. He also thanks UFC President Dana White for bringing him back:
These days the boys from Cro Cop team are training in full force. After a long break and highly demanding recovery process, Mirko Cro Cop is ready to fight in MMA again.
All problems with injuries are history and Cro Cop is very optimistic to start another chapter in his career:
“I feel great, the recovery process is going well and we train at high intensity now. I never had such a strong desire to prove myself and I’ll climb up again, or die trying.“
Mirko’s next fight is set for June 13th in Germany, which means that he’s back in the UFC, a place that he didn’t have his best moments:
“I decided to fight in the UFC again, because of the stronger competition in the heavyweight division. My next opponent will be Mustapha Al-Turk. I didn’t do well in my first three appearances – I wasn’t myself. By returning to the cage I want to prove that I can still fight at highest level, no matter when or where.“, claims Cro Cop.
UFC 99 will be Cro Cop’s first fight this year with the possibility of three fights coming by years end.
“It’s hard to talk about concrete plans, but I would really like to fight at least three times this year. I wish to fight against quality opponents and to fight my way up to a title shot but for now, I’ll focus only on my next fight and after that we’ll see what’s going to be on the menu next“, says Cro Cop.
Although the UFC 99 card looks stacked, it seems that the UFC officials can see the benefits of hiring a top European fighter for their first ever UFC show in Germany.
“I want to say thank you Mr. Dana White for your interest and for an invitation back to the UFC. I owe you a lot from our first deal, and I’ll make it up to you.“, promises Cro Cop.
All news related to Mirko Cro Cop’s career are posted on Mirko’s official MMA-ID profile on http://www.mma-id.com/CROCOP and Mirko’s official homepage http://www.mirko-crocop.com.
The CROCOP Team