'Cro Cop' Cancels Grappling Match

By Tim Leidecker Jun 7, 2008
Pride 2006 Grand Prix champion Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (Pictures) has canceled his June 15 grappling exhibition against Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Ralek Gracie (Pictures) after aggravating an elbow injury in training. Dnevnik, one of the biggest online news portals in Croatia, reported the cancellation of the bout on Saturday.

The match, which was scheduled to be held under modified rules with a no-points system, began as a stopgap solution after promoter Fighting & Entertainment Group was unable to find a suitable mixed martial arts opponent for the Croatian kickboxer.

Excluding a 56-second cameo appearance against overmatched Japanese grappler Tatsuya Mizuno (Pictures) last March at Dream 1, the Zagreb native has not fought in a Japanese ring for over 17 months.

Filipovic suffered the elbow injury in the Mizuno fight, but opted for conservative treatment in order to avoid surgery. However, after more than 15 years in the fight game, "Cro Cop" is finally showing the wear and tear of over 60 professional bouts.

The kickboxer, 33, is now tentatively scheduled for a clash with fellow former K-1 star Jerome LeBanner on July 21 at Dream 5.
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