Heavyweight contender Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic has signed a three- fight contract extension with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, UFC president Dana White said on Monday.
Filipovic's rights were in dispute after UFC 99 when Yahoo! Sports, the Canadian Press and several Japanese newspapers reported that Filipovic was going to spurn the oral agreement he made with the UFC and instead fight for the Japanese-based promotion, DREAM.
Several days after the initial reports, Sergio Non of USA Today reported that DREAM official Mike Kogan confirmed that Filipovic would fight on its July 20 show. A fight between Filipovic and "Mighty" Mo Siligia briefly appeared on DREAM's website as scheduled for July 20.
But Filipovic never signed the DREAM contract and opted instead to honor the agreement he made over the telephone with White. Filipovic's first bout on the extension will be against Junior dos Santos at UFC
103 in Dallas on Sept. 19.
White blamed Filipovic's manager, Ken Imai, for the confusion over Filipovic's rights. Imai could not be reached for comment.
White, though, said he was pleased to have Filipovic back in the fold.
"I never had a problem with Mirko himself and I'm looking forward to having him fight for us again," White said. "He's said (his previous stint in) the UFC is the black mark on his career and he wants to do something about that."