Mirko Cro Cop is coming back to the UFC, according numerous online sources.
The Croatian heavyweight, who made his name in the glory days of Japan’s K-1 and PRIDE organizations, last fought for the UFC in 2011.
Now 40, Cro Cop was recently rumored to be headed to Bellator MMA, but a UFC official confirmed to MMA Junkie (in this report) that he is instead coming back to the Octagon.
Cro Cop, whose real surname is Flipovic, is among the most successful kickboxers to make the switch to MMA, boasting an MMA record of 30-11-2 with one no-contest, and a kickboxing record of 23-8. He would become one of the biggest stars of PRIDE during that organization’s heyday — known particularly for his devastating left high kick. Among his career highlights was the 2006 PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix, where he defeated both Josh Barnett and Wanderlei Silva on the same night.
But his first UFC run the following year was not as successful. After defeating Eddie Sanchez in his debut, Cro Cop lost his next two bouts, including a knockout loss to Gabriel Gonzaga, before exiting the promotion. He found greater success when he returned to the UFC in 2009, but then suffered a three fight losing streak. After a technical knockout loss to Roy Nelson at UFC 137 in 2011 (seen above), the old legend announced his retirement.
Cro Cop returned to action in 2012, winning one MMA bout and three kickboxing matches. He has continued to be active in both sports, fighting in two kickboxing bouts and two MMA bouts (both wins) last year.
No timetable has been given for this, what will be his third UFC run.