1 March 2019 – Legendary Croatian fighter Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipović (44) has retired from fighting for good.
“It is over, I hope I will not cry, but that is it. Next is inevitable retirement,” Filipović revealed to Nova TV on Friday just hours after he was released from hospital after suffering a stroke.
Two weeks after beating American Roy Nelson at Bellator 216, the Croatian shocked the public by revealing he now will ‘battle for his life’.
“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,” he said in the news studio.
Cro Cop explained that he had problems with his neck and that it had caused him pain for the last 2-3 months. He said he noticed it when he was driving his car in reverse and turning it, but when he went for scans everything was OK.
“The next three months I can not train or do anything. Whatever training I am doing, another stroke would be deadly. I’ll be disciplined now, get the medicines I need to take and I’ll be disciplined. I will not go in the ring again. I can not allow that someone hits me. After three months I will train, but just on the boxing bags,” he concluded, before thanking staff at Dubrava hospital in Zagreb.
Filipović will go down as one of the greatest heavyweights in kickboxing and mixed martial arts history. He was the 2006 Pride Open-Weight Grand Prix Champion and the 2012 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion becoming the second fighter in the world to win mixed martial arts and kickboxing championships and tournaments. He is also a former IGF Champion.
He won his last 10 fights in a row and ends his career with victory over Nelson.