Wanderlei Silva won’t be fighting Mirko Filipovic a third time after all.
The former PRIDE champion called out “Cro Cop” for the RIZIN openweight tournament quarterfinal after the Croatian heavyweight submitted Hyun Man Myung in September, but Filipovic announced on Facebook that the Brazilian will no longer compete on Dec. 29. MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani confirmed the news.
“I just received a message from RIZIN that Wanderlei Silva got scared and cancelled our fight,” Filipovic wrote. “I swear, few days ago I told Stipe Drvis that I have a feeling this guy will bail. And this morning I receive this message.
“What coward this guy is. He was brave enough when he called me out in July, saying he wants to fight me in the first round of the tournament. And he was brave when he had his speech after my last fight, saying how us two will put on a show to remember. There is no shame in getting scared, there is no shame in losing a fight, but there is a shame in acting like a chump while you know you don't have any intention in fighting.”
According to sources, Silva is still dealing with knee and shoulder injuries he sustained after being hit by a car in May.
There is no word yet if Filipovic will still compete at the event, but the Croatian heavyweight threatens to fight “The Axe Murderer” outside the ring if he shows up in Japan.
“I really don't like trash talk but, Wanderlei Silva, if you show up in Japan in any other role - other that as my opponent - I will beat you up at the first location I see you, hotel, Saitama Arena,” he said. “You were such a killer in the ring and now you are just 'scared homie.'”
Silva and "Cro Cop" fought twice under the PRIDE banner. The first bout ended in a draw in 2002, and the heavyweight knocked Silva out in the rematch four years later.
The other quarterfinal bouts feature Shane Carwin vs. Amir Aliakbari, Baruto vs. Tsuyoshi Kosaka and Valentin Moldavsky vs. Szymon Bajor. The semifinals and final are scheduled for Dec. 31.