Less than a week after apparently snubbing the UFC for Japanese mixed martial arts promoter Dream, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic has agreed to fight Siala "Mighty Mo" Siliga on July 20 in Saitama, Japan, a source familiar with negotiations for Dream 10 told SI.com Wednesday.
Aided by an inadvertent poke to the eye, Filipovic, 34, defeated Mostapha Al-Turk (6-5) midway through the first round of their UFC 99 fight in Cologne, Germany, last Saturday. Afterward, the popular Croatian striker, best known for capturing Pride's 2006 open-weight grand prix tournament and going the distance against Fedor Emelianenko, reportedly informed UFC president DanaWhite that he planned on signing a three-fight deal to compete in Dream.
Filipovic's appearance against Al-Turk came as a result of a verbal arrangement between the fighter and White for three fights, the UFC promoter told Yahoo! Sports. Queried Sunday about White publicly blasting him for allegedly reneging on their deal, the southpaw denied anything was set for him to leave UFC for Dream.
It was reported Tuesday that Filipovic (25-6-2) had finalized a deal for three fights with Real Entertainment, a production company populated by former Pride executives hired by FEG to produce Dream events.
A bout between Filipovic and the 38-year-old "Mighty Mo" -- 3-1 in MMA action and 14-9 as a kickboxer -- was originally rumored for Dream 1. Siliga, a heavy-fisted heavyweight of American Samoan descent, won his first three MMA bouts before succumbing to a triangle choke against Semmy Schilt last New Year's Eve.
The heavyweight fight joins a crowded field of bouts for the mid- summer event. In addition to the conclusion of Dream's welterweight tournament (the semifinals and finals are scheduled to take place on the same night), a lightweight attraction between Shinya Aoki and Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro as well as a middleweight clash featuring Paulo Filho and Melvin Manhoef highlight the card.