No word yet on whether or not Mirko CroCop will pokeball his way through the upcoming Rizin Open Weight Grand Prix, Michael Page style, but he certainly appears to have caught the pokefever (am I doing this right?). The former Pride legend and UFC talent recently posted a video to his Facebook page showing his somewhat fruitless attempts to “Catch ‘em All.”
He did apparently grab hold of his Rizin contract in the process, as CroCop claims that his pokehunt led him to Sakakibara, which in turn led to him stepping back in the ring:
"I was chasing Pokemon's and somehow ended up in Japan," Filipovic said at the announcement press conference (transcript via MMAFighting). "I kept chasing them and bumped into Sakakibara san in Roppingi. He bought me suit and shoes, and that is why I sit here right now."
CroCop’s MMA return is planned to start on December 29th in the second leg of the Rizin 16-man open weight grand prix. The opening round will take place on September 25th, but CroCop and three others will receive a first-round bye. The final rounds will take place over two events as part of Rizin’s 2nd New Year’s Eve spectacular. The quarter-finals are set for December 29th. The semi-finals and finals will take place on the 31st. With Wanderlei Silva, Kazuyuki Fujita, and Baruto already planned as part of the lineup, it has the makings of an A+ MMA spectacle.