Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic has been forced out of his upcoming July 21 fight in DREAM due to nagging injuries, some of which will require surgery. The fighter made the announcement via his personal online blog.
Cro Cop last competed on the inaugural DREAM show in March, defeating Tatsuya Mizuno by strikes in under a minute. Since that time, he has been rumored to fight in many scenarios, but injuries have kept him sidelined for most of the year.
Most recently the former Pride and UFC fighter was scheduled for a grappling only match against Ralek Gracie at DREAM's last show, but he pulled out due to the same nagging injuries.
In the statement he made on his blog, Cro Cop acknowledged the ongoing problems he's been having with his knee and elbow and will have arthroscopic surgery to repair the injured knee, while his elbow is currently rehabbing as well.
"I have been having problems with my right elbow for years and the injury got even worse over last six months," he wrote. "I'm already receiving a proper treatment but the recovery won't happen over night.
"The second problem is a knee injury, something that troubles me for quite a while. I had difficulties using my kicks and over last few weeks I focused more on boxing and grappling. I really wanted to fight on July 21 and I was even ignoring doctor's suggestions, but now I've reached the point from which I can't continue with my normal training regiment due to my injuries."
With proper treatment and rehab time, Cro Cop is shooting for a Sept. 23 return to DREAM and made mention of Alistair Overeem as an opponent he would like to face.
Following his fight at DREAM 4 in June, Overeem called out Cro Cop and neither seems like they will back down from the challenge if the match is offered.