Last night may have marked the end of a legendary career, as MMA veteran Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic was felled in the octagon at UFC 128 for the second time in a row and the fifth time overall.
Though two losses in a row may not seem like reason enough to hang up the gloves, Filipovic has been unable to regain the fearsome form he once displayed in Pride FC during his tenure in the UFC and even he said pre-fight that a loss to “rookie” Brendan Schaub would indicate his need for retirement.
New to the game perhaps, but Schaub is far from a slouch and he proved it last night in hanging tough against a grizzled veteran in “Cro Cop,” giving the experienced striker plenty to worry about throughout their fight. In fact, both men displayed heart, grit and determination in fighting back and forth last night in the main card’s opening bout, but it was Schaub who eventually landed the fight-determining blow, hammering home a right cross in the third that dropped “Cro Cop” as if he were hit by a sniper from the crowd.
The loss brings “Cro Cop’s” UFC record to 4-5, with wins over Eddie Sanchez, Mostapha Al-Turk, Anthony Perosh, and Pat Barry being outweighed by convincing losses to Gabriel Gonzaga, Cheick Kongo, Junior dos Santos, Frank Mir and now Brendan Schaub. Considering the results of his latest performances and his past expressions of indecisiveness over retirement, UFC president Dana White told MMAJunkie.com that he thinks it’s time for “Cro Cop” to walk away from the sport and that he doesn’t believe the former Croatian parliamentarian would offer much protest his assertion.
“I don’t think I’d have an argument from ‘Cro Cop,’” said White.
“I was talking tonight about how tough Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ is,” he later added. “At his age and with the wars he’s been in, to see how he gets in there with these heavyweights now that are bigger, stronger and younger than he is – and he still holds his own – it’s a testament to what a great fighter that guy was in his prime. I have all respect for Mirko ‘Cro Cop,’ but yeah, I’d have to say tonight is probably the last time we’ll see ‘Cro Cop’ fight again.”
Filipovic’s current record stands at 27-9-2 with twenty of his wins coming via KO or TKO, four by submission and three by decision. The 36-year old former Croatian special forces officer’s resume reads as a “who’s who” of MMA legends and he has added a great percentage of footage to MMA highlight reels everywhere with his trademark head kick knockouts and devastating punches.