Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filopovic will not be fighting at DREAM 5, he has revealed in his official blog.
Filopovic was due to face French kickboxer Jerome LeBanner but that bout was scrapped when LeBanner accepted a fight with Semmy Schilt in the K-1 organisation instead.
Another K-1 name, Mighty Mo, was drafted in as a replacement but then he too decided to pull out, leaving Filopovic without an opponent.
It means that the Croatian has fought only once this year, a much-derided demolition of the hopelessly overmatched Tatsuya Mizuno at DREAM 1 in March.
Filopovic was supposed to face LeBanner at DREAM 4 last month, but the scheduling fell apart and the bout was changed to a grappling rules match with Ralek Gracie instead.
But then that bout was also called off and matchmakers at DREAM attempted to reschedule the LeBanner fight for their fifth show, which takes place July 21st.
His inactivity has been the subject of much speculation, but Filopovic denies that he is on the point of retiring.
Writing in his blog, he states that he aims to be the first DREAM heavyweight champion and says he wants to fight top level competition.
While he acknowledges that the various recent pull-outs are disappointing for his fans, he also reveals that they may be a blessing in disguise.
“I’ve been having problems with my right elbow for years and the injury got even worse over last 6 months. I’m already receiving a proper treatment but the recovery won’t happen over night,” he writes.
“ The second problem is a knee injury, something that troubles me for quite a while. I had difficulties using my kicks and over last few weeks I focused more on boxing and grappling.
“I really wanted to fight on July 21 and I was even ignoring doctor’s suggestions, but now I’ve reached the point from which I can’t continue with my normal training regiment due to my injuries.”
Filopovic is due to see medical specialists today (Monday) and says he will do everything in his power to get back into fighting shape – and settle some scores.
“I would really like to fight Alistair Overeem, we all know why and I won't let it go”, he says, referring to Overeem’s repeated claims that the Croatian is ducking him. He adds that he will “hopefully... meet Fedor in the ring once more in 2009”.