Cro Cop enters Rizin FF Open Weight Tournament
By Edward Carbajal
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (31-11-1, 1 NC); is coming out of retirement to enter Rizin Fighting Federation’s (RIZIN FF) Open Weight Grand Prix. The 16-man tournament is set to start the opening rounds on September 25, in Tokyo. Fans of Pride Fighting Championships will remember that Filipovic was the last man to win their Open Weight Grand Prix in 2006.
Filipovic is not the only Pride FC/UFC veteran joining the tournament. Also announced was the participation of Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC) who fell to Filipovic in the same Pride event when he last fought there. The possibility of a re-match is likely but they have been in the game a long time and are far from the condition they faced each other in ten years ago.
Filipovic, who can be funny if you remember the prank he pulled with Bas Rutten on Mauro Ranallo during the Pride FC days, credited Pokémon Go for finding his way back to Japan.
Single bouts outside of the tournament were announced, Daron Cruickshank (17-8, 1 NC) versus Andy Souwer (MMA: 1-0, Kickboxing: 159-19, 98 KO’s) will face each other in a lightweight bout. Souwer made his MMA debut in Rizin’s first New Year’s Eve show and show cased some of his brutal striking prowess when he finished Yuichiro Nashima in the first round.
Other bouts will be announced soon.
Edward Carbajal is a contributing writer for MMA at Page2sports.com and Frontproof Media. You can follow Edward on Twitter @Carbazel or at his website TheBlogBoardJungle.com. Check out his podcast on Spreaker.