legendary heavyweight Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ filipovic has announced his retirement for disturbing reasons, revealing that he suffered from a stroke after a recent win over Roy Nelson in the Bellator promotion.
Cro Cop announced the news after he emerged from a Croatian hospital two weeks after he avenged an old loss to Nelson by unanimous decision at Bellator 216.
“It’s over, I hope I will not cry, but that is it. Next is inevitable retirement,” Filipovic told Nova TV in his home country. “I had a stroke and had bleeding on the brain. I got out of the hospital today and that’s why I wanted to come here to show people I feel good, I had incredible luck with the stroke, the leak could have gone left and right. I had a vein discomfort, it burst from mechanical stimulus. This had nothing to do with fighting, just the neck was overloaded.
“I have to fight for my life now.”
The 44-year-old had been enjoying a career resurgence over the past few years, winning his last 10 fights in a row, with Nelson’s name having been added to a list of victories that also included the likes of Satoshi Ishii (twice), Gabriel Gonzaga and Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal, while also adding to his trophy cabinet by becoming Rizin’s 2016 Open weight Grand-Prix champion.
Cro Cop has attempting to retire from fighting several times in the past, but given the severity of his most recent hospitalization it seems that this time he really will be hanging up his gloves for good.