Well kids, we can probably go ahead and stick a fork in Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, cause he’s most likely done. Nothing is yet official, but after suffering his second brutal KO in a row at UFC 128, it’s not looking likely that we’ll see Cro Cop in the Octagon again… or any MMA cage or ring, for that matter.
When asked after the event, Dana White didn’t hesitate to admit that Cro Cop’s second run at the UFC is over, and later told MMA Junkie that he doesn’t think Mirko would argue about it either. Mirko himself told a Croatian website (as translated by MMA Mania):
“I feel like somebody stole something from me. I am disappointed by the result, but congratulations to Schaub and thanks to my fans for their support. It’s clear that in this sport without hunger, wish and ambition to win there is no success, and its also clear that there is no more left of those in me. He surprised me with that strike, everything was same like against Frank Mir. It seemed to me like I was better. What am I saying? If I was better, I would have won!”
That tone isn’t surprising right after a bad loss, especially since he’s been talking like he may no longer have the heart for this whole getting-punched-in-the-face-really-fucking-hard business for quite some time now. Well that was a week ago, and he must be feeling a bit better now, because he now says (as translated by LowKick):
There’s one fight left on my UFC contract. I will have this fight, regardless of what the reporters think. However, there’s a possibility that the UFC will insist on not allowing me to fight. I will accept their decision. It’s time to retire, despite the fact that I want to continue. Next year, it will be 20 years since my first fight… I had a great career, and I don’t regret anything. But I don’t want to finish it defeated.
I’m very sorry. I was more than ready for my last two fights, but still, I was unable to see the punches coming. I would like to apologize to all my fans. Believe me, I’m also very disappointed.
There’s no other options. UFC is a monopoly. Soon, they’ll swallow Strikeforce, so I have basically nowhere to go. The Japanese market is dead, DREAM is dead, and the tragedy in Japan annihilated all the other Japanese MMA promotions.
I don’t think the door to Strikeforce is necessarily closed for him now that it’s all one big happy Fertitta family, it’s just that if Zuffa is going to give him another fight under their banner, it might as well be in the UFC or not at all. Next down the list would be Bellator, but with their focus on their tournament format, it seems unlikely they’d hire him for a one-off match, and they obviously couldn’t afford the paycheck he’s accustomed to. In the current state of the industry, it seems that faded superstars who can’t hack it in the big league anymore are left with the choice of retirement or slumming it in the wilderness for pennies on the dollar.
We’ve learned to never say never when it comes to Dana, but it basically all hinges on whether he has a change of heart and gives Cro Cop his last farewell fight. Chuck Liddell wasn’t gifted an easy win to ride off into the sunset on, but then again, Cro Cop’s resume tells us he’s much more willing to crush cans than the Iceman ever was. I’m not sure a squash match is the best conclusion to his career, but I guess neither is the &t=4m40s” target=”_blank”>sight of him wobbling back to his feet like an inflatable punching bag after getting KTFO’d.
Will Dana feed Mirko one final lamb to slaughter, and if so, who would it be?