Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic is a true legend. His incredible signature head kick has put many of his opponents to sleep. In his prime he was considered to be the best fighter in the MMA. Nobody could match him. Only Fedor, and even he said that his toughest fight so far was against Cro Cop.
Before 2007, Mirko's only losses were against Nogueira, Randleman, Fedor, and Mark Hunt. He was demolishing Nogueira before Antonio caught him in what I consider to be one of the luckiest submissions of all time. Randleman is extremely dangerous, there is a reason he is nicknamed "The Monster."
Although he doesn't have the prettiest record, he is very lethal and unpredictable. He is one of the only people to ever come close to beating Fedor, as he slammed him on his neck extremely hard before Fedor caught him in a kimura.
His loss against Fedor goes without any explanation. He put up a great fight, but they were both in there prime and Fedor was just a little bit better. To this day Fedor is still undefeated. Mark Hunt is another person whose record might fool you. Considering that he has also beaten Wanderlei Silva as well as Mirko, I wouldn't take him too lightly.
So before 2007 Mirkos record was 22-4-2. What in the world happened to him?
Well, I'm not actually sure what happened. Maybe he is getting older, maybe his kicks and strikes just aren't what they used to be. But in the Spring of 2007, "Cro Cop" fought Gabriel Gonzaga. It was to be the turning point in his career for the worse.
The fight was disastrous. Gabriel dominated, and towards the end he pounded Mirko on the ground, and when they got up and Cro Cop was still wobbly, "Napao" gave him a taste of his own medicine. He actually knocked him out with a head kick.
After the fight, some MMA fans simply assumed the fight was just bad luck, that Mirko would forget this horrendous experience and keep on beating top names. But it was not to be. In the next fight, Mirko got ridiculed in a unanimous decision against Cheick Kongo, someone who he should have easily dispatched. Something was definitely wrong with the famous "Cro Cop."
Mirko went on to win three fights against below average fighters, but was really exposed in his last fight against JDS. He looked in awful shape and didn't stand a chance. Now many people think he should retire. Should he?
As a huge fan of Mirko, I of course would love to see him keep on fighting. It is unlikely that he will make an incredible comeback, but he is very entertaining.
Realistically, Mirko probably will never be as good as he once was. He should just fight a few more fights, and regardless of if he wins or loses them he should retire. He is a legend, but I think he should make room for new rising talents.
It sure would be awesome though if he makes an amazing comeback and defy's all the odds.