UFC 119: Has the Old Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic Returned?

Joshua Wood@JoshWoodMMACorrespondent ISeptember 7, 2010

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 21: A pensive Mirko Cro Cop of Croatia walks to the octagon before fighting Gabriel Gonzaga of USA in a Heavyweight bout of the Ultimate Fighting Championship at the Manchester Evening News Arena on April 21, 2007 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Gary M. Prior/Getty Images)
Gary M. Prior/Getty Images

On September 25 the former Pride open weight grand prix champion, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic will face his toughest test in the UFC when he faces off against Former Champ Frank Mir.

Filipovic is only 4-3 on two separate stints in the UFC. Those three losses account for almost half of his career total of seven in 37 total MMA fights. He has won two in a row and is 3-1 so far in his second run, after only going a depressing 1-2 in the first go around.

Following his defeat to Junior Dos Santos at UFC 103, Filipovic addressed his training as not being what it should, and went on to completely revamp it. He’s also been often injured, but prior to his last fight though he was finally healthy and in top shape.  His performance showed this as he defeated raising heavyweight Pat Berry by third round submission at UFC 115.

The win was Filipovic’s most impressive outing in the UFC and possibly the best in the last four years. Was the win and how Filipovic looked merely a case of the right matchup or has the changes made brought out the old Pride days in Mirko “Cro Cop.”

The answer to that question is probably a little of both, but the full answer will be answered when Filipovic steps in against Mir on the 25th. Mir is a very tough matchup, style-wise, for Filipovic with his high level of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Filipovic isn’t weak on the ground but he’s nowhere near the level Mir is at, but he’ll come in with the advantage over Mir in striking.

Mir was originally scheduled to face Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in a rematch of their UFC 92 match in which Mir defeat Nogueira by TKO. Nogueira was forced to withdraw with an injury that required surgery, Filipovic was named the replacement a day later.  

Click here for more articles on UFC 119

For more articles from Joshua Wood check out www.mmavalor.com

Follow Joshua Wood on Twitter at @mmavalor