It was a sad moment for fight fans all around the world as Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic said he was retiring in his post fight interview at UFC 137.
Cro Cop will always be remembered as one of the greats. He has had some truly great battles with some of the best fighters to come out of Pride.
Undoubtedly what he’ll be most remembered for were his insane legs kicks that put so many great fighters out cold. Let's take a look back at some of the high points in his career.
Although it was Cro Cop’s seventh fight in Pride, it was one of the first times fans got to see just how powerful the Croatian’s leg kicks were.
Crop Cop put a quick end to then up and coming fighter Herring with a devastating kick to the liver followed by some punches.
It was an extremely impressive display of power that would go a long way in cementing Cro Cop's legacy as one of the most physically imposing fighters ever.
In a loss that would later be avenged by his brother Fedor, Aleksander Emelianenko met Cro Cop at a time when the Croatian was on a role.
At just 2:09 in the first round, Cro Cop laid Emelianenko out with a vicious head kick that dropped him to the mat unconscious.
It was the third time Cro Cop had stopped an opponent with a swift kick to the head, and the beginning of his legend.
Many people will say that Cro Cop’s graveyard kick was the beginning of the end for Silva. Mirko was the first person to successfully knock Silva out, and it’s been down hill from there.
This was the semi final fight in the 2006 Pride Open Weight Grand Prix. With the win, Cro Cop went on to face Josh Barnett in the finals. Wanderlei went on to be knocked out in four of his next seven fights.
Some fighters just have your number, and in Josh Barnett’s case, that man was Mirko Filipovic. The two fighters met three times, and Barnett lost in all three matches.
In their final meeting, Barnett and Cro Cop fought in the final round of the Pride 2006 Open Weight Grand Prix. Cro Cop walked away the victor, and Barnett never got another chance to avenge any of the losses.
Sadly, Filipovic is one of the greatest fighters to have ever competed in MMA who has never won a belt. His crowing achievement therefor is when he won the Grand Prix.
There’s no doubt that Mirko will forever be remembered as one of the greatest and most entertaining fighters to have ever watched.
The fact that he never wore a belt doesn’t tarnish his reputation as one of the best to have ever fought. He will be remembered fondly by all.