Right Leg Hospital, Left Leg Cemetery
Mirko Cro Cop is riding a seven-fight win streak and just became the 2016 Rizin Open-Weight Grand Prix Champion days ago, but the 42-year-old Croatian says that health concerns are finally causing him to hang up his trademark red-and-white checkered Hayabusa fight shorts in 2017.
Cro Cop, the PRIDE legend and UFC Veteran, appeared on NOVA TV this week after his two-win, tournament winning performance at Rizin 4 to discuss his impending retirement, what his last fight camp was like, and talked about what the future will hold.
The original post on www.fightsite.hr was in Croatian, so Reddit user ‘OGPablo’ translated the story earlier today:
Filipović was first asked what is the next step in his life and his career and he said something we all heard before, but this time he insists it is final:
“I signed a 15 fight deal with Rizin! I’m kidding of course, this was definetly my last great competition, my last great tournament, surely the end of my career. I have health issues and I can’t do it anymore. There is just a possible farewell fight, but only if I’m able to fix my injured knee.I don’t ever again want to go through what I went through during this training camp. I am 43 and as far as MMA is concerned, I gave all I had. I know I had retired before, but this time it is for good. ”
He also spoke on the victory over Amir Aliakbari and all the health problems he had to overcome to win this tournament:
“I was happy and proud, proud of myself first, and then proud of my team because even though this is an individual sport I couldn’t have done it without them. They all contributed. Training camp was great, maybe the best of my career. I knew this was going to be my last tournament and it turned out perfectly”
Until now, he always came back out of retirement. The lure of the cage/ring was too much to handle. But things aren’t like they used to be:
“It will be tough, that’s for sure. People used to joke with me about how many times I’ve retired and then came back, but I promised my family this time it’s for real. There is too much stress involved, I can’t do it anymore and I’m at peace with that.”
Cro Cop also mentioned towards the end of the interview that even though he may never compete in a mixed martial arts bout again — he loves the training, and he will continue to train young prospects as he nears the half-century mark.
“I will continue to train, I have been training all my life, it is a part of my life I can’t do without,” said Filipovic.
Even though Mirko Cro Cop was able to turn back the clock for the 2016 Rizin World Grand Prix, do you think the Croatian is making the right choice in hanging up the gloves at 42 years old or would you like to see him get one more big money fight in Japan before he calls it a career?
Will the first-round knockout win against Amir Aliakbari at the Rizin World Grand-Prix 2016: Final Round be the final victory in Cro Cop’s 49-fight career?