Heavyweight veteran Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has signed a three-fight contract with the UFC, ending weeks of speculation about whether the popular Croatian fighter would return to the UFC or ink a deal with Japan-based DREAM.
UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta announced the signing on Saturday during a Q&A with fans at the UFC Fan Expo in Las Vegas before UFC 100.
Nearly two years after leaving the Octagon following back-to-back losses to Gabriel Gonzaga and Cheick Kongo in 2007, Cro Cop (25-6-2) returned to the UFC in June, defeating Mostapha Al-Turk via first-round TKO at UFC 99. Filipovic’s future in the UFC was jeopardized when he reportedly signed with DREAM following the victory, his third-straight, but UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta was apparently able to convince the popular veteran to return to the Octagon by offering him a contract he “couldn’t refuse”.
Cro Cop is rumored to meet heavyweight prospect Junior dos Santos in a featured bout at UFC 103 on September 19 in Dallas, Texas.