MMA legend Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic likely fought the last fight of his career tonight against Roy Nelson at UFC 137 in the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada
True to his word, Cro Cop came out seemingly trying to put on the best performance of his UFC career. Frustrated by an inconsistent and mostly disappointing career with the promotion, the Pride veteran pledged to fight harder than he ever had for what could be his final stand.
The 37-year-old came out hard in the first round, keeping Nelson at bay with powerful, precise strikes and engaging more against the hard-hitting Nelson than maybe he ever had before in the UFC. After a very solid first round, Cro Cop turned it up even higher. He ate an overhand right from Nelson that buckled his knees, but he immediately came back and swarmed Big Country, forcing him to turtle against the cage under the pressure of his raging assault. Showing off the superhuman chin that he’s become known for, a very bloody Nelson managed to keep on his feet through the barrage.
He stole the fight’s momentum later in that frame, taking Cro Cop to the mat and eventually setting up the mounted crucifix, pounding on Filipovic until the bell. In the second round, Cro Cop looked slightly tentative and, after putting the pressure on him, Nelson took an opening and landed a powerful left hand that dropped his opponent. Big Country took Cro Cop’s back, flattened him out and pounded away until the fight was halted.
Nelson saves himself from the chopping block in victory, rebounding from a two-fight losing streak to bring his record to 16-6. He paid respect to Cro Cop after the fight and called out the winner of Velasquez-dos Santos, citing Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon’s mantra as his reason.
“Everybody give it up for Cro Cop. He’s given MMA as a fighter, as a fan, so much,” he said. Adding after calling out the champ, “I’m getting too old for this sh**.”
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic calls it the end of a storied career after suffering his third straight knockout loss, bringing his overall record to 27-10-2, 1 NC. The fearsome Croatian striker apologized to fans and the UFC for the way that his career in the promotion has gone, but will no doubt go down in the books as one of the very best heavyweights to ever have competed in the sport.