The highly anticipated third fight between PRIDE legends Mirko Cro Cop and Wanderlei Silva will have to take place another time as Silva has been pulled from the event, as he’s still recovering from injuries suffered in a car accident earlier this year.
Cro Cop was notified by Rizin about Silva departing the event and he sent the following statement to Ariel Helwani of The MMA Hour.
“I just received a message from RIZIN that Wanderlei Silva got scared and cancelled our fight,” Filipovic wrote. “I swear, few days ago I told Stipe Drvis that I have a feeling this guy will bail. And this morning I receive this message. What coward this guy is. He was brave enough when he called me out in July, saying he wants to fight me in the first round of the tournament. And he was brave when he had his speech after my last fight, saying how us two will put on a show to remember. There is no shame in getting scared, there is no shame in losing a fight, but there is a shame in acting like a chump while you know you don't have any intention in fighting.”
Cro Cop even threatened to get in an altercation with Silva if the injured Brazilian fighter shows up at the two year end events for Rizin.
“I really don't like trash talk but, Wanderlei Silva, if you show up in Japan in any other role - other that as my opponent - I will beat you up at the first location I see you, hotel, Saitama Arena,” he said. “You were such a killer in the ring and now you are just 'scared homie.'”
Cro Cop and Silva fought twice before under the PRIDE banner, fighting Silva to a draw in 2002, but then Cro Cop defeated Silva by knockout in 2006.
Rizin 3 takes place on Thursday, December 29 from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan with Mirko Cro Cop and an opponent to be named headlining.