Mirko "Cro Co" Filipovic | Sherdog.com
Contrary to previous reports, Brendan Schaub will face neither Stefan Struve nor Frank Mir in his first bout of 2011. Instead, Schaub will square off against veteran striker Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic at UFC 128, which takes place on March 19 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
According to sources close to the matchup, contracts were signed Tuesday morning. The contest was first reported on the website of British magazine Fighters Only on Tuesday. It is currently unknown what became of the proposed Schaub-Struve bout, which had reportedly been agreed to by both fighters.
Schaub enters the bout riding a three-fight winning streak. “The Hybrid” owns victories over Chase Gormley, Chris Tuchscherer and Gabriel Gonzaga in that span. In his bout with Gonzaga at UFC 121, Schaub used superior speed to control the distance and pace, cruising to a unanimous decision victory. Schaub made his promotional debut in the main event of the “Ultimate Fighter 10” finale, losing to fellow finalist Roy Nelson by knockout at 3:45 of round one. The loss was the first of Schaub's career.
Filipovic carries considerably less momentum into the bout, as he was knocked unconscious by a Frank Mir knee in the final minute of their heavyweight headliner at September’s UFC 119. The contest was a sluggish one, as both men clinched often and little damage was inflicted on either side until Mir’s knee met with the former Pride Fighting Championships star’s jaw. The Croat had won back-to-back bouts prior to the Mir defeat, finishing both Anthony Perosh and Pat Barry at UFC 110 and 115, respectively.
UFC 128 has not yet been announced by the promotion, but is expected to be headlined by Mauricio “Shogun” Rua’s light heavyweight title defense against challenger Rashad Evans. Also slated for the event is a lightweight scrap between Kurt Pellegrino and Gleison Tibau, as well as a welterweight duel pitting Mike Pyle against Ricardo Almeida.