Heavyweight Bouts In The Works For UFC 115A pair of hard-hitting heavyweight bouts are currently in the works for the UFC’s first trip to British Columbia in June. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipović has verbally agreed to face fellow former K-1 star Pat “HD” Barry, while Gilbert “The Hurricane” Yvel has agreed to battle former IFL standout “Big” Ben Rothwell on the UFC 115 card.

MMAjunkie.com and MMAWeekly.com first reported on the planned bouts. Filipović’s fight with Barry is expected to be a part of the event’s main card, but no official announcement has been made.

Filipović (26-7-2, 1 NC) was set to face Rothwell at UFC 110 in Australia, but Rothwell was forced to withdraw from the fight due to illness. Filipović went on to defeat late-replacement Anthony “The Hippo” Perosh after the doctor stopped the fight following the second round. The 2006 PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix Champion has looked tentative in recent bouts and would face a very tough test should the fight with Barry be made official.

Barry (5-1-0), like Filipović, is a former K-1 kickboxing star and is arguably a superior striker to his Croatian foe. He debuted in the UFC at UFC 92 in December of 2008 and has won two of his three Octagon appearances. All five of Barry’s mixed martial arts victories have come by a form of knockout and he was in complete control before a mental lapse in his lone defeat against Tim Hague. A victory over Filipović would be huge for Barry as he continues to develop his MMA career.

Rothwell (30-7-0) enjoyed great success in the International Fight League before departing the promotion in late 2007. He has since won just one of three fights and was forced to withdraw from his UFC 110 bout with Filipović. Looking to pick up his first Octagon win, Rothwell won’t have an easy fight against the controversial but dangerous Yvel, who is also looking to rebound from a tough loss.

Yvel (36-14-1, 1 NC) was first rumoured to be facing Barry at UFC 115, but is now likely to be matched up against the veteran Rothwell. With an incredible 31 wins via knockout, Yvel’s power is undeniable, but he has led a controversial career and has often struggled in high-profile fights. A second consecutive loss could potentially spell the end of Yvel’s UFC career, but the devastating Dutch striker remains a serious threat to many in the heavyweight ranks.

UFC 115 is set for June 12th at General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)