In a new interview with dvenik.hr, Mirko Cro Cop has confirmed that he will face off against Alistair Overeem in a rematch of their bout at last month’s DREAM 6 event. The rematch will take place at K-1 Dynamite!! 2008 on New Year’s Eve at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
Cro Cop also confirmed that he will be fighting on an injured knee that will require surgery almost immediately after the fight.
“I’ve had several operations this year, and I’ll have to undergo another one straight after the NYE event. It’s frustrating to have to undergo all these operations but that’s the sportsman’s life. Many others have had it worse then me,” the Croatian said during the interview.
The first bout between the two, which was mostly controlled by Overeem’s ground game, ended in a no contest due to inadvertent groin strikes. Overeem hit Cro Cop with two strikes to the groin, the second strike sending Cro Cop to the mat for good. The pain was so unbearable that Cro Cop was unable to continue. During the broadcast, commentators Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice were notified that Cro Cop’s right testicle had been knocked back up inside his body.
Cro Cop has not been too successful since signing with the UFC in 2006, going 2-2 in his last four fights with wins over lackluster opponents in Eddie Sanchez and Tatsuya Mizuno and losses to Gabriel Gonzaga and Cheick Kongo plus the no contest with Overeem.
Overeem, on the other hand, was riding a three fight win streak into last month’s fight with Cro Cop, notching wins over Paul Buentello, Tae Hyun Lee, and Mark Hunt.
K-1 Dynamite!! 2008 is set to feature five kickboxing matches and five MMA fights including a bout between American Top Team’s Gesias Calvancante and DREAM lightweight champion Joachim Hansen.