UFC released Mirko Cro Cop from contract, allowing him to fight at Rizin

Mirko Cro Cop

Rizin FF has continued to keep the ball rolling since MMA icon Fedor Emelianenko made his return to MMA on New Year’s Eve. Since then, the promotion held their official ‘Rizin 1’ event back in April, and will look to build more momentum as we get closer to the end of the year.

Earlier this month, the promotion announced that they will be having a 16-man tournament, which will see Mirko Cro Cop make his promotional debut, as well as Wanderlei Silva. The event will go down in Tokyo, leading many to expect an evening reminiscent of the Pride FC days of MMA.

With Mirko Cro Cop currently serving an NSAC issued suspension, many are wondering how the UFC fighter is able to fight for another promotion. According to MMAFighting, Cro Cop requested that the UFC release him from his contract, allowing him to go to Japan to sign with Rizin FF.

Similarly, the UFC released Wanderlei Silva from his contract, which resulted in him signing to fight for the promotion as well.

“Former heavyweight contender Mirko Cro Cop announced his retirement from the sport of MMA in November, and recently requested that the remaining bouts in his promotional agreement with the UFC organization be terminated,” the UFC said in a statement. “UFC agreed to terminate the remaining bouts in the promotional agreement, however, Cro Cop was advised that UFC does not have any power to reduce or terminate the sanctions imposed by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency pursuant to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.”