Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic’s retirement from combat sports was a relatively short one, as less than a year after the legend announced he was hanging up the gloves, he’s been booked to fight for Rizin FF.
Last November, “Cro Cop” announced he was done fighting, after he reported to USADA that he had been taking human growth hormone to repair an injured shoulder. Filipovic said he was retiring due to the severity of the injury.
Well, fast forward to today, and the Japanese promotion Rizin FF, has announced “Cro Cop” will compete in its upcoming, open-weight grand-prix. The tourney gets underway on September 25th, but four fighters, including “Cro Cop” and Wanderlei Silva, will apparently receive a bye into the second round. The quarterfinals are scheduled for December 29th.
Although “Cro Cop” was suspended for two years by USADA, MMA is not regulated in MMA, so there’s no commission to prevent him from competing. It remains unclear at this juncture, however, what Filipovic’s contract status is with the UFC. He was scheduled to fight Anthony Hamilton last November for the UFC, when he announced his retirement.
The 41 year-old stopped Gabriel Gonzaga in his last bout, which took place in April, 2015. “Cro Cop” (31-11-2) is 4-1 in his last 5 MMA fights.