Bellator 200 is right around the corner. The promotion is going all-in with its Bicentennial event, and on Monday announced the addition of a rematch between Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and Roy Nelson. Bellator 200 takes place on Friday, May 25, at SSE Arena, Wembley in London.
Much like Ozzy Osbourne, Cro Cop just can’t put an end to his retirement tour. He has uttered the “R” word on numerous occasions, but can’t seem to stop returning to the cage.
Cro Cop (36-11-2, 1NC) rose to prominence fighting in Japan, winning the 2006 Pride Openweight Grand Prix before eventually making three tours through the UFC. Following a win over Gabriel Gonzaga to kick off his last stop with UFC in 2015, Cro Cop had been scheduled to then fight Anthony Hamilton, but abruptly retired amidst an anti-doping violation allegation. He later admitted to having taken human growth hormone.
Cro Cop returned a year and a half later to fight for Rizin FF, laying out his latest plan for retirement. He has since gone 5-0 fighting for the Japan-based organization and has won his eight most recent bouts heading into his Bellator debut.
Nelson (23-15) is coming off of a disappointing majority-decision loss to Matt Mitrione in the quarterfinal round of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Nelson had spent the past few years fighting for the UFC after having won Season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter. Though he was a constant threat in the heavyweight division and a fan favorite, he could never quite work his way into a challenge for the UFC heavyweight belt. Nelson made the move to Bellator last year.
Cro Cop will be looking to avenge a loss to Nelson from nearly seven years ago. Nelson won their first meeting at UFC 137 via a TKO stoppage and sent Cro Cop packing.
The two renowned fighters join a stacked card that already includes a Bellator middleweight title match-up pitting current champ Rafael Carvalho (15-1) against Gegard Mousasi (43-6-2), while former titleholder Phil Davis (18-4) takes on Linton Vassell (18-6) in a light heavyweight match-up, and undefeated British striker Michael “Venom” Page (12-0) meets David “The Caveman” Rickels (19-4, 2 NC) at welterweight.
Bellator 200 Fight Card
- Middleweight World Title Bout: Rafael Carvalho (15-1) vs. Gegard Mousasi (43-6-2)
- Heavyweight Main Card Bout: Mirko Cro Cop (36-11-2, 1 NC) vs. Roy Nelson (23-15)
- Light Heavyweight Main Card Bout: Phil Davis (18-4) vs. Linton Vassell (18-6)
- Welterweight Main Card Bout: Michael Page (12-0) vs. David Rickels (19-4, 2 NC)
*Card subject to change