Days after Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira withdrew from a rematch with Frank Mir at UFC 119 in September due to a hip injury, the UFC have now officially confirmed that Mirko Cro Cop will now step in as his replacement.
A year ago Cro Cop looked on the verge of retirement after a tough loss to Junior Dos Santos, but two wins since then against Anthony Perosh and Pat Barry appear to have boosted his confidence.
The Barry fight was the last on his current contract, and there was speculation, fueled by the fighter himself, that he may now be ready to hang up his gloves. Last month however he suggested that he would return to the octagon, but only if he was offered, “inspiring fights”.
Cro Cop mentioned Nogueira, Couture and Gonzaga as the men he’d like to face, but Frank Mir in the headline bout of a major event would also appear to fit the 35 year-old’s criteria, and has convinced him to sign a new contract with the UFC..