Curiously, despite featuring in one of the most critically panned main events of the year which ended with him lying flat on the canvas looking at the back of his eyelids after nearly three rounds of inactivity, 37 year-old Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic appears not to be contemplating retirement.
“After Pat Barry I said that was my last fight, but I fought again,” Cro Cop tells the Croatian media after returning home following the fight. “That’s my life. I need to rest, cure the injuries, I have a lot of injuries. Before the fight I had problems with my back and knee. I need to fix that. This year of course I will not fight. I have the option for two more fights [with the UFC]. Knowing myself I will do both.”
Honestly, I hope he rethinks this stance.
It was surely evident to all but the most die-hard of Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic fans on Saturday night that the PRIDE legend’s days as one of the most feared strikers in the sport are now but a distant memory.
In the full interview (which you can watch below) he seems to be taking some confidence from the fact that he managed to go nearly three rounds with the former champion.
The truth though is that this was far from a virtuoso performance from Mir who appeared somewhat gun-shy for much of the fight, perhaps still harboring memories of his own brutal KO loss to Shane Carwin earlier in the year.
As much as I like Cro Cop I’m struggling to take away any positives from his performance, and can’t shake the memories of his similarly weak display against Junior Dos Santos last year, his seeming reluctance to put Anthony Perosh to the sword in Australia, or the two knockdowns he suffered against Pat Barry before rallying to secure a late victory.
If the UFC do decide to bring him back for his last two fights then hopefully they’ll steer clear of the temptation to use his name and past reputation to headline a card or match him up with another upper level heavyweight. Instead it seems the only option left is to pair him up with lower tier fighters who he has a chance of beating and ending his career on a positive note.
Check out the full interview below.