Cro Cop: “I want to have a normal life”

News, Top Story

Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic is seriously contemplating retirement.

The once-feared Croatian striker says that the hunger for fighting that he once had is now gone.

“I’ve been training like a spartan for twenty years now. My body is worn out,” said Filipovic. “Obviously, I can’t break my mental block in the octagon. The years have caught up to me, and I’m worn out.”

Filipovic was once the most feared striker in combat sports, with a deadly arsenal of kicks that made him one of the most entertaining fighters on the planet. During the glory years of Japanese promotion PRIDE, Filipovic became the biggest star in the company and one of the biggest drawing cards, far surpassing the popularity of the more talented Fedor Emelianenko.

But his sojourn into the octagon has not been a pleasant one, and his battering at the hands of Junior Dos Santos at UFC 103 may have been the final straw. Filipovic apparently called off the fight in the third and final round after a Dos Santos uppercut drilled him on the orbital bone, but he says that’s not the case.

“Dos Santos punched me and tore my eyelid. Blood and sweat completely blurred my vision,” says Filipovic. “But it was not an early stoppage. The referee made the correct call. Dos Santos was winning the fight and would have won a decision anyway.”

Does he want to continue fighting?

“I don’t feel the hunger anymore. I started playing it safe and I’m not ready to take risks,” said Filipovic. “I’ve been living a military life for twenty years. I want a normal life. I’m stepping into a cage, but I’m thinking about fishing in Privlaka. You can’t live that way.”

It does sound like goodbye.

“Maybe I should have quit after I won the (PRIDE) Open Weight Grand Prix,” said Filipovic.