Former PRIDE Fighting Championships Open-Weight Grand Prix winner Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic came back from a tough first round against Pat Barry this weekend at UFC 115 to deliver his best performance in recent memory and certainly the best performance of his UFC career. He defeated Barry, a talented kick boxer, in the third round of their fight via submission and en route to the stoppage impressed with solid striking that was reminiscent of his days as a destroyer in PRIDE. Despite the win though, “Cro Cop” told Croatian news source Jutarnji that he is considering ending his career as a Mixed Martial Artist.
“In addition to winning the Pride Grand Prix Finals, it’s my favorite fight of my career [but] most of the training proved to me that I am now too old for this,” said Filipovic. “I don’t know about a new contract with the UFC. I believe that I gave this game a lot, I fought with the greatest fighters.”
“Cro Cop” has indicated before that he may retire from the sport but never after turning in a performance as solid as the one he gave on Saturday night. Filipovic said that, despite the win, his motivation to train and compete is waning and after several tough fights under the UFC banner he may choose to end his career on a high note.
“For 20 years I lived this life and now I have no motivation for the fight, no mental strength for all the Spartan training,” he said. “I am no longer so hungry for victory. I will not stop training, but if I am asleep I’ll stay in bed and practice an hour later.”
As for what he may turn to in order to spend his time and energy, “Cro Cop” said that he may join many other fighters who have retired and now conduct seminars around the world.
“I have some contacts around the seminar circuit in the U.S., Australia, Europe and even Brazil,” said “Cro Cop.”
It would be a shame to see “Cro Cop” retire after an apparent return to form but, should he follow through, Filipovic may be making the best decision. We have seen as recently as this weekend (e.g., Chuck Liddell) what it looks like when a fighter waits too long to hang up his gloves and only “Cro Cop” knows how much fight he has left. If he does indeed call it quits his decision to retire on a high note should be met with respect and he should be remembered for all of the legendary fights that he participated in throughout his storied career.