Contrary to earlier reports that had Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic taking on Hero’s and Pride veteran Yoshihiro Nakao on March 15 – as the Croatian stated on his personal blog, Dream has announced that Filipovic will face Pancrase veteran Tatsuya Mizuno on its debut card.
Filipovic returns following back-to-back losses, both in the Ultimate Fighting Championship where the Croatian striker made his debut a little over a year ago. In his last fight, at UFC 75, he dropped a listless decision to French striker Cheick Kongo.
He was released from his UFC contract earlier this year, which set the stage for Filipovic to return to Japan, where he will compete for the newly formed Dream promotion. Dream is a partnership between Fight Entertainment Group and former staff members of Dream Stage Entertainment.
He will face off with Tatsuya Mizuno, a disciple of Pride and Hero’s veteran Kiyoshi Tamura, who has competed in Pancrase his entire mixed martial arts career. Mizuno comes off a stoppage victory over former Japanese pro wrestler Masayuki Kono at Pancrase Rising 9.
This will be Filipovic’s first fight in Japan since he won the Pride Open Weight Grand Prix in 2006.