After his win over Pat Barry, former PRIDE favorite Mirko Cro Cop hinted that he may be considering retirement, stating that he’d like to remain with the UFC, “whether I fight again or not.”
Now back home in his native Croatia, the 35 year-old appears to have confirmed that he is seriously considering hanging up his gloves in a new interview with jutarnji.hr (translated by bloodyelbow.com)
“In addition to winning the Pride Grand Prix Finals, [UFC 115] it’s my favorite fight of my career [but] most of the training proved to me that I am now too old for this…I don’t know about a new contract with the UFC. I believe that I gave this game a lot, I fought with the greatest fighters,” Cro Cop said.
“For 20 years I lived this life and now I have no motivation for the fight, no mental strength for all the Spartan training. I am no longer so hungry for victory. I will not stop training, but if I am asleep I’ll stay in bed and practice an hour later.”
At the very least Cro Cop seems to be ruling out a return anytime soon, saying that he will now be conducting seminars in various countries around the globe.
So will he retire? I’m not convinced as he had similar things to say after his defeat against Junior Dos Santos last year, and yet he’s fought twice since then. Dana White has already stated that he will offer the Croatian a new contract and that should prove hard to resist.
After seeing brief glimpses of the old Cro Cop this weekend I wouldn’t complain about seeing him in the octagon again, but at the same time I actually think it would be a sensible decision to quit now on a high after performing better in the cage, and winning over a lot of the fans with his more relaxed attitude before, during and after the fight.
Of course as we’ve seen demonstrated by Chuck Liddell on Saturday night, fighters often don’t have the ability to look at the bigger picture and pick the right time to retire.