Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (36-11-2-1NC) is not done fighting yet. The Japanese MMA promotion announced a September 30 bout that has the legendary striker facing Roque Martinez (13-4-2) at the Saitama Super Arena for RIZIN 13. Last May Filipovic was scheduled to enter into Bellator’s heavyweight tournament as an alternate while having a fight scheduled with RIZIN in July but a knee injury would have him removed from both.
It would seem the time off is enough for the 43-year-old heavyweight to fight again in the arena he built his legacy. Of his 36 wins 78 percent of them are by way of knock out or TKO and his most recent finish of Tsuyoshi Kohsaka was at the end of 2017 at the RIZIN Grand Prix’s final round. RIZIN’s press release included the following statement from Filipovic:
“Hello RIZIN fans. I am happy to be able to announce that I will be fighting on September 30th at the Saitama Super Arena against Roque Martinez. I had a very bad injury 4 months ago but all of that is behind me. Please come to Saitama to watch my fight, and enjoy the show.” -Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic
The man known as “Cro Cop” has a combat sports career that started in 1996 when he began as a kickboxer in K-1. He became one of the early examples of how a striker can adapt to mixed martial arts with a solid takedown defense and some basic submission skills. While the sport has evolved and he is well past his prime, Filipovic’s ability to land one blow is similar to what Mike Tyson brought to the boxing ring when he was on the rise.
Say what you will about Cro Cop and Japanese MMA, but there is something about fighting in that arena that peaks the interest of fight fans when fighters like him are on a card.
See the full press conference below: