It’s been two full days since reports surfaced that Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic was retiring from the sport of mixed martial arts, and still no official word from the Croatian regarding the matter. He may not have said anything within the last 24-hours, he said plenty the days prior that which would lead you to believe that he’s as good as gone.
“I have twenty years of training like a spartan behind me. It has caught up with me, my body is broken down. I’ve been worn out,” Filipovic told The Sun earlier this week.
Cro Cop was last seen looking all of his 34-years of age, if not more, in his loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC 103 this past weekend. It was clear throughout their battle that Cro Cop’s better days were clearly behind him.
“I don’t feel the hunger anymore,” Cro Cop said. “I have started playing it safe. I’m not prepared to take risks. [Dos Santos] is younger, more hungry, more aggressive. He wanted to win a lot more.”
Cro Cop’s decision to bounce may have less to do with the UFC releasing him and his blockbuster contract, than it does with his continued discomfort fighting inside a cage. Although he holds a dominant 25-7-2 pro mark, he was only 2-3 inside an Octagon.
“Obviously, I can’t break my mental block in the Octagon,” a disappointed Cro Cop stated.
After winning the Pride Open-Weight Gran Prix Tourney back in 2006, it appeared as though Cro Cop was just starting to enter the prime of his career. Unfortunately, that window closed very quickly after his stunning knockout loss to Gabriel Gonzaga and subsequent unanimous decision loss to Cheick Kongo.