Nearing 40, “Cro Cop” continues to fight on. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
UFC and Pride Fighting Championships veteran Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic will return to Japan in August to take on streaking heavyweight Satoshi Ishii.
The heavyweight matchup is set to headline Inoki Genome Fight 2, the second all-MMA offering from Antonio Inoki’s pro-wrestling promotion, Inoki Genome Federation. The event takes place Aug. 23 at Ryogoku Kokugikan arena in Tokyo’s Sumida ward.
Filipovic, 39, briefly retired from mixed martial arts and returned to kickboxing after a three-fight losing skid led to his exit from the UFC in 2011. The Croatian striker came back to MMA in December 2012 with an armbar win over former sumo Shinichi Suzukawa, but succumbed to a first-round neck crank from recent UFC signee Alexey Oleinik last November.
Ishii, who trains in California at Black House and Reign MMA, has notched seven victories inside the IGF ring in the past 18 months, including decisions over the likes of Pedro Rizzo, Tim Sylvia and, most recently, Philip De Fries. The 27-year-old Olympic judo gold medalist’s current winning streak also includes a majority decision against Jeff Monson in Russia last October.
The undercard of Inoki Genome Fight 2 will feature the opening round of the promotion’s open-weight “Road to Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2014” tournament, with Shuji Morikawa facing Takaaki Oban and Jun Ando taking on Ryo Sakai.