K-1 fighter Ray Sefo (1-0) turned down an offer to fight former UFC heavyweight Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (22-6-2) at next month’s DREAM show in Japan.
The news was posted on the Xtreme Couture blog.
The report also confirmed that Sefo, as well as super-heavyweight Jan Nortje (who defeated Bob Sapp in the main event of this past weekend’s “Strikeforce at the Dome” show), have both joined Xtreme Couture’s fight team.
Sefo turned downed the fight because he would have had just weeks to prepare for it.
DREAM will replace K-1's former MMA division (K-1 HERO’S) and includes former executives from the now-defunct PRIDE Fighting Championships. The organization will hold its first show on March 15 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. Although Sefo turned down the fight, the organization still wants to have Filipovic on the card, which will also include the first round of a star-studded lightweight grand prix.
Sefo, 37, owns a mere 1-0 professional MMA record after defeating Min Soo Kim with a second-round KO at a 2005 K-1 HERO’S show. However, the New Zealand native is most noted as a kickboxer (53-17-1 record) and a five-time Muay Thai world champ.
Filipovic, a former PRIDE stand-out, recently left the UFC with three fights remaining on his contract. The split was amicable, according to both Filipovic and UFC president Dana White. Filipovic recently stated that he plans to return to the UFC after competing three times in Japan.
The 2006 PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix winner scored a win over Eddie Sanchez in his much-hyped UFC debut last year, but he then suffered back-to-back losses to Gabriel Gonzaga and Cheick Kongo.