Mirko Cro Cop doesn’t expect Fedor Emelianenko rematch to ever happen

Mirko Cro Cop faces Roy Nelson at Bellator 200.

Few could have predicted back in 2005 when Mirko Filipovic and Fedor Emelianenko collided in the biggest heavyweight fight in MMA history that both men would still be going strong 13 years later, nonetheless still fighting under the same umbrella.

While each man has faced his fair share of false retirements in the years since their clash, the 43-year-old “Cro Cop” and 41-year-old Emelianenko have remarkably combined to win 14 of their last 15 fights. Both are also currently alive in Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix, with Emelianenko readying for a semifinal matchup against Chael Sonnen and “Cro Cop” set to rematch Roy Nelson at Bellator 200 for the right to become the first alternate into the bracket — all of which means there is a conceivable scenario in which a long-discussed Emelianenko vs. Filipovic rematch could actually take place under the Bellator banner.

Such a matchup would be a nostalgic blast to the past for fight fans who remember the madness that surrounded their legendary first meeting at Pride Final Conflict 2005, which Emelianenko won via unanimous decision.

But more than a decade removed from that magical night at Saitama Super Arena, Filipovic thinks the time may have passed to write a second chapter in his rivalry with Emelianenko.

“People are asking me all the time about that, but I don’t think about that right now. And I don’t think that fight will happen,” Filipovic said Thursday on a Bellator 200 conference call.

“It’s hard to say. There is no — I don’t have some special desire to fight him anymore, like I had before. Never say never, but I don’t think that fight will ever happen.”

The fact that Emelianenko vs. Filipovic II is even a realistic topic of discussion is remarkable considering where Emelianenko was in his career as recently as last year.

The Russian legend struggled mightily against light heavyweight veteran Fabio Maldonado in 2016, then suffered a 74-second loss to Matt Mitrione in his Bellator debut one year later. Because of that, Emelianenko was effectively an afterthought when Bellator’s heavyweight tournament was first announced, however things changed at Bellator 198 when Emelianenko scored a thunderous 48-second knockout of former UFC champion Frank Mir.

The performance showed that Emelianenko may indeed still have some gas left in his tank — although “Cro Cop” isn’t ready to proclaim Emelianenko as back just yet.

“Well, it was a good fight. If he’s back or not, I don’t know,” Filipovic said. “It was too short. The fight was too short, but good for him.”

Filipovic’s own career revival is as equally extraordinary to Emelianenko’s, if not more so. “Cro Cop” has won eight consecutive fights via stoppage since 2014, knocking out the likes of Muhammed Lawal, Baruto Kaito, and old rival Gabriel Gonzaga during that undefeated run. His upcoming Bellator 200 debut against Nelson serves as a rematch of a 2011 fight that Filipovic lost via third-round stoppage, perpetuating the revenge tour theme that began with Filipovic’s victory over Gonzaga.

As his age creeps upwards, “Cro Cop” says his motivation for continuing to compete in such a volatile sport is simple.

“It makes me happy,” Filipovic said. “That’s the most simple answer I can give to you. It just makes me happy.

“Right now I’m enjoying what I’m doing. I’m a professional fighter and I enjoy fighting, and that’s it. There is no need for further philosophizing and some higher [point].

“I train everyday, I train around the world, I fight all around the world. The last fight I had was in Tokyo, the next one will be in London. So I feel great. It makes me happy.”

After unsuccessfully retiring numerous times, Filipovic indicated that he is done setting an end date for himself in MMA. He plans to complete as long as he feels able to, and each outing could conceivably be his last.

“It’s hard to say,” Filipovic said. “In this business, it’s hard to say. I said a few times already, ‘I’m done, I’m done,’ and at the end day, I always decided to extend my career.

“I will just do it as long as it makes me happy, and as long as my health allows me to keep fighting. So it can be one or two fights, it can be three, I don’t know.

“There are a lot of injuries in this sport, so you never know, especially at my age. I am 43, but I feel so good right now.”

Filipovic also noted that he holds no ill will towards Nelson for the defeat “Big Country” handed him back in the pair’s UFC days, meaning there will be no promise of vengeance when Filipovic and Nelson lock horns for a second time on May 25 in London, England.

“That’s not my style, promising anything,” Filipovic said. “I am in very good shape and I’m looking forward to the fight. Roy is a great guy, very tough fighter, great fighter, iron chin, and I will have to do my best to beat him.”


Hope Mirko pulls W over roy. Would suck to have his 8 fight win streak be end by roy


I prefer clean fighters.

Well thats great, since Cro Cop never failed a test in his life

arean't you a fan of chael sonnen?

Glad to see Mirko in good spirits and health.

I am hoping he pulverizes Nelson. So sick of King Hippo. With a win and the proper sacrifice to the MMA Gods, it might be possible to see Mirko and Fedor in the finale. Holy shit that would be incredible, if only for the epic nostalgia that it offers.

War Mirko. War Fedor.

great thing ab Mirko......

he NEVER LOST A REMATCH……..and as his biggest fan (i’m bias bc he’s my countryman and reason i got ‘hooked’ on MMA) i hope this tradition and streak continues, and that is only (my selfish) reason i would like to see rematch with one of HW’s GOAT Fedor (other being Stipe imho)…….

Actually he lost a rematch against Hoost

I know it wasn’t mma but kickboxing is where Cro Cop started after all.

He also lost to Bernardo after winning the first

And lost to Bonjasky after winning the first, and lost to Hunt in a bizarre MMA match after beating him in kickboxing.

Yep I was only looking at rematchs when he lost the first fight

Just to point out that Cro Cop doesn’t always make the adjustement to change the after a loss outcome the second time but yeah he lost some rematch after winning the original bout too.


i was talking only ab MMA
as far as K-1, Hoost had his number each time,….just like Branko Cikatić had Hoost number…

If it goes to the ground Roy will win.

Filipovic is more than good enough to stall Nelson if it goes to the ground

Certainly Mirko has better TDD than Meathead

Nelson also isnt what he used to be back when they first met – Mirko on the other hand is still pretty much that.

Mirko never lose re-match

Hopefully he’ll continue…..

I like Mirko, he always came off as a nice guy.

I’m sure he has roided most of his career, but I’m not even mad about it.

What an odd photograph..

It looks like it should be on the box of a commemorative MMA edition of CLUE.. or on the cover of a special DVD edition of the Sopranos..


  • The suspicious Yakuza- side glancing man (with the earpiece) dressed in black?
  • The sad, regretful looking man in a black t-shirt holding a sandwich (or sponge)?
  • The man in red texting on his cell phone with the distrustful corner eye glance at the RIZIN belt?
  • The stoic looking trainer/corner man?
  • The Japanese kid enthralled with the blue ribbon decorative party favorites?
  • or Cro Cop holding the mic- with no interviewer or half naked women in sight?

This looks like it was taken at a funeral. O.o

i want to see fedor vs mirko 2

roy nelson is going down

I would love to see that rematch

Mirko seems to age better and if Fedor is still dangerous this days, the fact that his chin is gone give Cro Cop a big advantage.

Cro Cop when Fedor rematch starts to seem possible...

Nah, come on

he fought harder match-ups a year ago. The word is on that he very well might fight Jiri Prochazka in 2 months in Rizin, Fedor is a faded pensioner by now compared to that.

I doubt he is scared now since he wasn't scared back in the days when Fedor was literally unbeatable

I didn’t give Mirko more than a puncher chance at the time but today I think it’s 50/50 given that Fedor turned into a brawler and his chin is now long gone.

Its kinda strange he doesnt, considering its one of the FEW rematches that people are really interested in

It might also about pride (small letter P, no pun intended): back in 2012 Mirko fought in Moscow for a shortlived organization called Legend owned by some oligarch, that clearly wanted to recreate the Pride nostalgia. He lost to Oleksiy Oleynik (which everybody understands now that he is strangling people left and right in the UFC) and was bitter afterwards that Fedor, who was in attendance, didnt even say hi or care enough to meet him, on the contrary, Fedor was telling the media that Cro Cop is visibly a shell of his former self, that its sad what he has become, etc. So perhaps Mirko thinks "look whos talking" nowadays, given Fedors recent performances.

Another aspect is that Fedor is really fragile by now while Mirko still looks like the faded but kinda competitive Mirko hes been ever since circa 2008, who can still take a punch at least, can clinch with people, etc. So if he murked Fedor silly in 30 seconds (which is what Fedors fights are nowadays), perhaps he would feel like it didnt even count and wouldnt be even good for his legacy.

Mirko would KO Fedor

For sure this time….
The reason why Mirko doesn’t consider fight with Fedor is because he thinks it wouldn’t be at all competitive match… Fedor is a shadow of himself and Mirko is KOing people left and right…
Roy is facing the same destiny…
War Cro Cop…

Its crazy to think that Nelson, Fedor, Kongo and Mir are ALL in Bellator now

If Mirko wanted to go on a revenge tour, he very well might retire with a nearly "clean" record

the only one missing....

is Schaub……lol

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