A heavyweight clash between Ben Rothwell (30-7 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (25-7-2 MMA, 2-3 UFC) is likely to take place in February at UFC 110.
The matchup was first reported by Sherdog.com, and MMAjunkie.com
(www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed with sources close to the event that the fight has been discussed as a possibility but not signed.
Although not officially announced by the UFC, UFC 110 is expected to take place Feb 21. The event, which takes place at Acer Arena, marks the UFC's debut in Australia.
A middleweight bout between Wanderlei Silva and Yoshihiro Akiyama could take the card's main-event slot.
Rothwell, a former star of the now-defunct International Fight League, signed with the UFC earlier this year and made his promotional debut in a TKO loss to Cain Velasquez at UFC 104 in October. Including a loss to Andrei Arlovski in July 2008 at "Affliction: Banned," Rothwell has now dropped two of his past three fights. The skid followed a career-high 13-fight win streak the Miletich fighter posted from 2005 to 2007.
Filipovic, meanwhile, returns to the octagon following a second-round submission loss to Junior Dos Santos at UFC 103 in September. Filipovic, a former star of PRIDE Fighting Championships, made his UFC debut in 2007 with a TKO win over Eddie Sanchez. However, he then suffered back-to-back losses to Gabriel Gonzaga and Cheick Kongo, and he then left the UFC to compete in Japan, where he went 2-0 before returning to the UFC with a controversial TKO win over Mostapha Al Turk (the referee failed to see Filipovic's illegal, but accidental, eye poke).
Following the latest loss, UFC president Dana White told MMAjunkie.com
Filipovic might be dropped by the organization. Rumors of a potential retirement, partially spurred by "Cro Cop," then surfaced. However, it appears the Croatian fighter will enter the cage at least once more.
For complete coverage of UFC 110
, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors
section of MMAjunkie.com.
(Pictured: Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic)