Last night saw MMA legend Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic retire from the sport after getting TKOed by Roy “Big Country” Nelson, but, for a few moments, it looked like the Pride FC veteran was poised to at least go out on top.
Following a strong first round for Cro Cop, Nelson was looking to take the fight’s momentum, hammering his opponent with an overhand right that buckled his knees. That only served to stir up the hornet’s nest so to speak, as Filipovic quickly recovered and went after Nelson like a man on fire. He threw countless punches to Nelson’s head and body, forcing him to cover up and weather the storm – which he did, thanks to his superhuman durability.
Nelson talked through the sequence at last night’s presser.
“When I hit Mirko, I was like, ‘Okay, this is my time.’ I was going to go out there, try to capitalize on it because I kinda hit him a couple of times in the first round, second round I hit him – I just kinda wanted to make him pay,” said Nelson. “And then I walked right into a left hand and it put me on the defense real quick. Then he kept on coming until I got my head straight. Then I came back, got the takedown and the crucifix and whatnot.”
Cro Cop hung up his gloves last night, but by Nelson’s assessment, the 37-year-old still has what it takes to compete with the best.
“He came to bang, he came to throw. If he didn’t want to retire, he could still fight,” he said. “He’s still one of those guys who hits hard, he’s still very competitive. For me, I just wanted to make sure I was the guy that goes out there and just wins. It feels good to get the W.”