IGF Heavyweight Champ Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic re-signed by UFC, expects April return

Cro Cop returns to the UFC
Cro Cop returns to the UFC

Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic is returning to the UFC at 40 years of age after going a successful 3-1 outside the promotion. BloodyElbow.com first broke the story here.

 

Cro Cop announced a retirement from MMA in 2011 after there consecutive losses by knockout in the UFC. However, the plan lasted only a year. In 2012, he began a simultaneous onslaught of both MMA and K-1 which garnered him a new lease on his career. Cro Cop’s kickboxing legend was renewed, and back to back MMA battles with former IGF Champion Satoshi Ishii – the most recent of which was by his famous head kick KO – ensured that the world would again be claiming him as a top competitor.

The IGF Heavyweight Champion will now step back into the UFC.

The UFC confirmed the report on its website here,

Over three years removed from his last UFC appearance, Mirko Cro Cop, one of mixed martial arts’ great heavyweights, is returning to the Octagon to make another run at UFC glory.

Before turning pro and becoming a kickboxing standout in K-1, Cro Cop notched up an amateur boxing record of 40–5 with a whopping 31 KOs. The natural-born badass earned the “Cro Cop” moniker because he was a commando in the Croatian police anti-terrorist unit Alpha.

Here are Cro Cop’s stunning records and championships from Wikipedia:

  • Only person to win K-1 and Pride FC Grand Prix
  • One of two fighters to win a world championship in MMA and K1(The other being Alistair Overeem).

Kickboxing

  • K-1
  • K-1 World Grand Prix 2012 Final Champion
  • K-1 World Grand Prix 2000 in Fukuoka Runner Up
  • K-1 Braves ’99 3rd Place
  • K-1 World Grand Prix 1999 Runner Up
  • International Kick-Boxing Federation
  • IKBF World Heavyweight Full Contact Champion

MMA

  • IGF Championship (One time, current)
  • 2006 Pride World Grand Prix Open-Weight Champion
  • Most head kicks knockouts in Pride history
  • Most finishes in Pride history
  • Second most knockouts in Pride history after Wanderlei Silva
  • Third most wins in Pride history
  • Only fighter consecutively defeated three former UFC Heavyweight Champions in Pride history
  • Ultimate Fighting Championship Submission of the Night (One time)

Cro Cop announced his elation on his website here,

Dear friends, the information appearing on various portals about my return to the UFC are correct! I will have the first fight in April, 2015. Thanks everyone for the support!

There are some fights that I would really like to do before the end of career, it’s about some rematches that I want more than anything else, regardless of whether I win or not. I’ll maximally prepare for it and really do my best, thanks to the UFC for the wish come true!