It’s been three and a half years since we last saw Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic set foot in the Octagon, but the former Pride and K-1 champion is back for his third tour of duty in the UFC. For his return bout, Cro Cop will rematch Gabriel Gonzaga in the UFC Fight Night 64 main event in Krakow, Poland.
For Cro Cop, the allure of avenging his past loss to Gonzaga was a large part of his decision to return. When they met at UFC 70 in 2007, Gonzaga “Cro-Copped” Cro Cop, knocking him out in the opening round with a head kick, the Croatian’s signature finishing move.
As heavyweights, Gonzaga and Cro Cop both easily made weight, and both were no-nonsense in their comments after stepping off the scale.
“I’m just ready for tomorrow’s fight and that’s it,” said Cro Cop in his usual stoic manner.
Gonzaga was much the same, adding, “I am here to do my job and fight tomorrow, whatever the UFC puts in front of me.”
In addition to Gonzaga vs. Cro Cop, the card is stacked to the hilt with Polish fighters. The most prominent home country fighter on the card is Jan Blachowicz, a former KSW light heavyweight champion, that has amassed a professional record of 18-3. He defeated Ilir Latifi in his Octagon debut, but faces no easy task in Saturday’s main event.
He faces 14-1 Brit Jimi Manuwa, whose only loss came in his last trip to the cage. Alexander Gustafsson derailed Manuwa’s hopes for a title shot, TKOing him in the second round. Manuwa will be looking to make a statement against his Polish foe, so that he can get back into title contention.
On the preliminary portion of the card, Polish fighter Izabela Badurek, who last fought at 141 pounds, had difficulty getting down to the strawweight limit of 116 pounds. She stepped on the scale at 117 pounds looking gaunt and dehydrated. Badurek was given one hour to try and lose that extra pound.
UPDATE: Badurek made weight on her second attempt, tipping the scale at 115.65 pounds.
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UFC Fight Night 64: Gonzaga vs. Cro Cop II Official Weigh-in Results
Main Card (on UFC Fight Pass)
Gabriel Gonzaga (255) vs. Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic (232)
Jimi Manuwa (206) vs. Jan Blachowicz (204)
Pawel Pawlak (169) vs. Sheldon Westcott (169)
Joanne Calderwood (115) vs. Maryna Moroz (115)
Preliminary Card (on UFC Fight Pass)
Seth Baczynski (170) vs. Leon Edwards (170)
Bartosz Fabinski (184) vs. Garreth McLellan (184)
Sergio Moraes (171) vs. Mickael Lebout (169)
Damian Stasiak (145) vs. Yaotzin Meza (146)
Daniel Omielanczuk (243) vs. Anthony Hamilton (259)
Izabela Badurek (117) vs. Alexandra Abu (114)*
Marcin Bandel (154) vs. Stevie Ray (155)
Taylor Lapilus (144) vs. Rocky Lee (145)
*Badurek was given one hour to make 116 pounds.