Mirko Cro Cop hasn’t exactly had the ideal preparation for his headline fight at UFC 119 with Frank Mir, stepping in it at shorter notice than he would have liked after Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira got injured and then later ending his final training session by being poked in the eye.
Luckily he has now been cleared to fight, but listening to his interview at today’s UFC 119 media work-out you get the sense that he’s not exactly brimming with confidence, and that the reasons for that go far beyond just the bumps and bruises sustained in training.
“That knee will never be the same way,” he says of an old nagging injury. “Four surgeries in one knee, it’s never the same. When I take a seat for longer than an hour, you know, it sometimes causes problems for me to walk right away. If I tried to start walking right after I stand up it [would] cause trouble.”
It’s a sobering statement from the 37 year-old who states that this will be the 70th professional fight of his MMA and kickboxing career.
With that in mind it’s hard to blame the Croatian for contemplating the possibility of retirement.
“Any fight could be the last one,” he admits.
Though it’s sad to see the legendary fighter battling his old war wounds as much as his upcoming opponents, it’s his choice to continue to fight and as he himself points out he’s been well rewarded for his efforts over the years.
“I was lucky, I managed to secure myself and my family financially so I don’t have to be concerned about what I’m going to do.”
Despite that he still expects to continue in the sport via seminars and the like after he does finally hang up the gloves.
“I’ll stick with MMA. That’s my love, that’s my job, that’s my destiny,” he says.
Watch the full media interview with Cro Cop courtesy of MMAWeekly below.