Mirko Cro Cop’s Bellator debut has been rescheduled for early 2019.
According to a report from ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the promotion has rescheduled Cro Cop’s first fight under their banner for February 16’s Bellator 217 from the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. He will take on fellow UFC veteran Roy Nelson. The promotion revealed that the anticipated Michel “Venom” Page vs. Paul Daley fight will headline the event.
Cro Cop was originally set to face Nelson at May’s Bellator 200. However, an injury pushed his debut back until next year as a result. The fight will be a rematch of their original meeting at 2011’s UFC 137. ‘Big Country’ won that fight via first-round TKO.
Nelson has dropped two straight fights in Bellator. His most recent loss was a first-round knockout at the hands of Sergei Kharitonov.
The 44-year-old Cro Cop, meanwhile, has quietly won his last nine fights in mixed martial arts (MMA). Filipovic has predominantly fought in Japan in that time. He most recently won a first-round TKO over Roque Martinez at September 30’s RIZIN 13.
The Croatian knockout artist is largely considered one of the best heavyweights in MMA history due to his fearsome high kick and overall striking skills.