Report: ‘Cro Cop’ Set to Make Bellator Debut in Rematch with Roy Nelson

By: Jay Pettry
Dec 6, 2018

Set once again to make his Bellator MMA debut will be Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, who will meet Roy Nelson this coming February in a rematch of their 2011 Ultimate Fighting Championship bout.

According to a report on ESPN, Filipovic (37-11-2-1) will be facing Roy Nelson (23-16) at Bellator 217 on Feb. 16 at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. The two first met at UFC 137 in 2011, where Nelson won by third round technical knockout, and were originally slated to face each other again at Bellator 200 before Filipovic withdrew due to a knee injury.

“Cro Cop” has been on tear since leaving the UFC in 2011, going 10-1 and currently riding a career-high 9 fight win streak, with all nine of those wins by stoppage. Winner of the 2016 Rizin World Grand Prix, “Cro Cop” dominated the competition by dispatching four foes in just over three months, finishing the likes of former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Muhammed Lawal and massive sumo competitor Kaido Hoovelson along the way. The last person to knock out “Cro Cop”? His upcoming foe, Nelson.

Nelson has had a bit of a rocky stretch since he left the UFC, going 1-2 inside the Bellator cage. Most recently, the incredibly durable “Big Country” was knocked out for only the third time in his career by Sergei Kharitonov a month ago. When in the UFC, Nelson scored the most “Knockout of the Night” bonuses of any heavyweight with four.

Bellator 217 will take place on Feb. 16 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. Headlining the card will be the long-anticipated showdown between Michael Page and Paul Daley as part of the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix. Additionally, former Bellator champ Vitaly Minakov will be facing Cheick Kongo in a heavyweight title eliminator bout.

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