Cro Cop Forced to Retire from MMA
MMA legend Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic announced his retirement from competition today after revealing that he suffered a stroke shortly after his victory over Roy Nelson last month at Bellator 216.
According to Filipovic, he had bleeding in his brain due to an ongoing neck issue and not directly because of the fight with Nelson. He was advised by doctors that the stroke was not life-threatening as long as he stops fighting. “I must not take punches to the head ever again,” said Cro Cop, "I will never enter the ring again. I cannot let someone hit me."
Filipovic (38-11-2-1NC) retires on a 10-fight win streak that included redemption victories in rematches against “Big Country” and Gabriel Gonzaga. He defeated the likes of Kazuyuki Fujita (x2), Igor Vovchanchyn, Alexander Emelianenko, Josh Barnett (x3), Kevin Randleman, Mark Coleman, Wanderlei Silva, and many other notable names throughout an MMA career that spanned back to 2001.
Cro Cop’s accolades include winning the 2006 PRIDE Open-Weight Grand Prix, the 2016 Rizin Open-Weight Grand Prix, and the 2012 K-1 World Grand Prix in kickboxing. He’s also well-known for his highlight reel head kick knockouts, which Cro Cop infamously described as: “right leg hospital; left leg cemetery.”