According to the Russian website dnevnik.hr, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic says he will likely return to the ring in January (UFC 80). He also stated his determination to prove all of his doubters wrong and that he briefly considered retirement after the his loss to Chieck Kongo. Below is the full transcript of an interview Cro Cop did with dnevnik.hr:
Mirko: CroCop is recovered, it will take a month to begin with sparrings again, although I have a special helmet for protection. The stripes are affecting my visibility so it’s not like the real thing, but the regular sparring sessions start in about a month. I think my next fight is going to happen in January.
You recently had a nose surgery?
Mirko: The nose problems have nothing to do with my defeats. I had trouble breathing, my nose was broken, one side was at 30%, while the other side was blocked completely.
It’s important when you face such an intense efforts.
Is this the toughest period in your career after you left K1?
Mirko: Not only that, this is the toughest period of my entire career.
Did you think about ending your career?
Mirko: I did think of it the night after my last defeat, but I’m not going to end my career soon. I will have 5 or 6 fights at least. Maybe even more, who can tell. Every fight could be your last one. You can suffer from a fatal injury, you can break your leg or arm. If I’ll be able to fight I’ll fight, it’s my life and my choice and I enjoy doing it.
I have a very strong motive, especially beacuse of number of “wise“ Internet users saying that I’m done. I will prove they were wrong.
Did you ever think about taking a year off to rest and come back stronger?
Mirko: In my case that would be a very long break. Of course, I would train a lot still if it would happen. Sometime you have to end your career, in a year, 3 or 5 years, or even 10 years – look at Randy Couture, he was the champion at 44. I will always train hard, but long breaks like that are not for me.
Are you in touch with Dana White and how does he feel about your defeats?
Mirko: We keep in touch, but you’ll have to ask him about that.
So, your nose is recovering well, you are wearing a special helmet. Your return is set for January due to a medical reasons?
Mirko: Yes, because of the surgery I’m not allowed to fight sooner. My nose is not fully recovered and I still have stiches in it.
Are there any rumors about your next opponent?
Mirko: None that I’m aware of.
Who you would like to fight next? Someone with a big reputation?
Mirko: It’s up to the UFC’s management. I will fight anyone who they put me against. I have never turned down any opponent.
Anything left to say?
Mirko: I’ll be back (smiling).