Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, the legendary Croatian kickboxer and MMA fighter, announced his retirement from the ring Friday. The fighter made the announcement on social media.
Filipovic said he suffered a stroke while training on Monday morning. Cro Cop also said he is fortunate the stroke did not paralyze his face or cause any deformity. In three months time, he will undergo an MRI to see if the recovery was successful according to his post, although his days of fighting are over.
The former Croatian police commando, 44, has been an accomplished competitor in mixed martial arts and kickboxing for nearly twenty years. In 1999, Filipovic defeated Musashi and Sam Greco to make it to the finals of the 1999 K-1 World GP, but lost by stoppage to Ernesto Hoost in the final. Cro Cop left K-1 and kickboxing in 2003 to focus on MMA, but returned to the ring in 2012.
In 2013, Cro Cop won his first and only K-1 GP Title when he defeated Ismael Londt, Pavel Zhuravlev, and Jarrell Miller to capture the 2012 K-1 GP title before a hometown crowd in Zagreb, Croatia. His last kickboxing bouts were for GLORY in 2014.
Filipovic focused on MMA in recent years, and recently fought for Bellator. The fighter is best known for his great run with the Pride promotion, but Cro Cop is also a veteran of the UFC, Bellator, and Rizin.
His last competitive bout took place for Bellator MMA last month. Filipovic won a three-round unanimous decision over fellow UFC veteran Roy “Big Country” Nelson at Bellator 216 in Connecticut, USA.
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