The legendary career of Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic will continue a while longer after it was confirmed today that he has inked a deal to compete on the Bellator MMA heavyweight roster.
Considered to be one of the best heavyweights in mixed martial arts history the 43-year-old Croat will meet fellow veteran Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson at Bellator 200, the organisation’s return to London in May. Cro Cop hinted at the deal on Sunday, posting a picture of the Bellator logo on his official Facebook page.
News of the deal was later confirmed by Bellator officials and once more on Cro Cop’s social media.
The bout will be a rematch of a bout between Cro Cop and Nelson at UFC 137 in October 2011 which took place under the UFC banner. Nelson won the bout via strikes in the third round.
Since that defeat Cro Cop has compiled a 9-1 ledger in active competition taking his professional record to 36-11-2 (1), which includes a pair of wins against Satoshi Ishii, a rematch win against Gabriel Gonzaga and a TKO win against Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal in the first of three wins in a night en route to winning the 2016 Rizin open weight Grand Prix. Cro Cop has stated he intends to compete on the Rizin New Year’s Eve card in late 2018.
Nelson, for his part, is 1-1 in Bellator since moving from the UFC last year. He was recently eliminated from the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix by Matt Mitrione.
Head kick master #MirkoCroCop makes his Bellator debut against heavy handed @roynelsonmma at #Bellator200 in London! 🔥🇬🇧👊 pic.twitter.com/OqwXKUIIv4
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) March 5, 2018
Bellator 200 is shaping up to be one of the organisation’s bigger shows of 2018. It will be headlined by a middleweight title bout between champion Rafael Carvalho and Gegard Mousasi. Michael ‘Venom’ Page returns to the Bellator cage to face David Rickels and Phil Davis will take on the tough Englishman Linton Vassell.