Pioneer Of Modern Day MMA Mirko Filipovic Calls It a Career

Leon Horne@@Leon_HorneAnalyst ISeptember 23, 2009

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 21: A pensive Mirko Cro Cop of Croatia walks to the octagon before fighting Gabriel Gonzaga of USA in a Heavyweight bout of the Ultimate Fighting Championship at the Manchester Evening News Arena on April 21, 2007 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Gary M. Prior/Getty Images)

That's it, folks. After losing via verbal submission to Junior Dos Santos, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic has put his fighting days behind him. 

Mirko looked scared to engage on Saturday night at UFC 103, his pattented devastating head kicks weren't there, and he seemed to be in survival mode for a good portion of the fight.

Cro Cop did land some nice hard lefts on Dos Santos, but they didn't phase the younger, stronger fighter.

On the other hand, Cro Cop ate knees and punches that resulted in him not being able to see properly. Those vision problems were what ultimately halted the fight in the third round. 

"Obviously, I can't break my mental block in the Octagon," Filipovic said. "I have twenty years of training like a spartan behind me. It has caught up with me. My body is broken down. I've been worn out."

He no longer has the drive anymore and he felt it in his fight with Dos Santos. Not only that, but he could feel that Dos Santos' drive was very likely stronger then his.

He admitted that the fight was not worthy of the fans' hard-earned money.

Unfortunately for Cro Cop he never really got a handle of the UFC octagon and bows out of the UFC with a dismal 2-3 record.

Alas, let's not dwell on what happened in the UFC. Mirko Cro Cop finished his career with a 25-7-2 professional record and 19 wins by knockout. He has a highlight reel against top fighters that other fighters must envy.

Holding vicious knockouts and victories over fighters like Wanderlei Silva, Aleksander Emelianenko, Mark Coleman, Heath Herring, Josh Barnett (twice), and Kevin Randleman is certainly nothing to scoff at.

He also brought Fedor Emelianenko one of his toughest tests to date in a three round war that went the distance—something that happens rarely against Emelianenko.

In addition to his exploits in mixed martial arts, Cro Cop has been an active member of parliament for his native country Croatia, works on the Croatian Anti-Terrorist Squad, has made a foray into the film industry, played soccer professionally, and last but not least is a loving father and husband.

Retirement is never an easy thing for an athlete. Doubts are voiced, questions are raised.

But at the end of the line, Cro Cop had a hall of fame career in the sport and it is nice to see that he values his health more then his desire to keep fighting.

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