Just 11 days after posting about his speedy recovery from an early-July arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipović has updated his blog again. The beleaguered Croatian striker now reports that he has resumed his training for MMA in full and is seeking a match with rolling Dutch heavyweight Alistair Overeem as soon as possible, even on the September 28th DREAM.6 card. He also admitted to keeping an eye on the competition during his layoff, commenting on Overeem's short-notice first round keylocking of Mark Hunt at last week's DREAM show in Osaka, Japan:
It was a very good performance by Alistair I must say. I'm happy to accept his challenge and I'm looking forward to this fight as I believe that we can deliver an entertaining fight. Now it's up to DREAM to make this fight happen, I'm ready to face my challenger on the next show already.
I see many people speaking about me as a washed-up fighter but this is just another boost to my motivation. I'm working hard to get back on track and meeting and defeating strong competitors in the ring is all that I think of nowdays.
I happen to agree with Mirko that talk of his demise has been greatly exaggerated, but a fight against Overeem is not a favorable one for him right now. While it's too early to say whether Mirko will continue down his slippery slope in the near future, there's no denying Overeem is soaring, a heavyweight to be feared in a time when very few are.
By the time DREAM.6 rolls around, it will have been one year since Filipović's decision loss to Cheick Kongo and subsequent release from the UFC. In that time he's had two surgeries (the knee, plus an earlier deviated septum), myriad cancelled fights -- even a bizarre proposed grappling match -- and one 0:56 mauling of a clearly overmatched mid-tier Pancrase worker.
In the same month Mirko lost to Kongo (Sept.2007), Overeem was TKO'd in a K-1 Hero's match against Sergei Kharitonov. Since then, however, the "Demolition Man" has gone on the strongest run of his career, winning three straight including a championship beating of Paul Buentello in Strikeforce and the recent submission of an extremely tough Hunt.