MMA-legenden Mirko Filipovic har annonsert via sine nettsider at han legger hanskene på hylla for godt.
After past retirements from both MMA and kickboxing, the 41-year-old eventually found his way back to competition. This time, though, “Cro Cop” (31-11-2 MMA, 5-6 UFC) said a shoulder injury has forced him out of his fight with fellow heavyweight Anthony Hamilton (14-4 MMA, 2-2 UFC) and that it prompted him to retire from all competition.
UFC officials haven’t made a formal announcement, and it’s not clear if a replacement will be sought on short notice.
UFC Fight Night 79 takes place Nov. 28 at Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul. The entire event streams on UFC Fight Pass.
“Unfortunately I had to cancel the fight in Seoul,” the Croatian fighter wrote on his website,mirkofilipovic.com. “In the beginning of the preparation I already hurt my shoulder, so I couldn’t raise a hand. I tried to save a shoulder injury and repair in all possible ways: daily therapy, injections of blood plasma and various cocktails of drugs but didn’t work out. The only cure would be a break of two to three weeks, and that I could not afford in the midst of final preparations. By daily trainings the injury gets worse. Part of the muscle is snapped, the shoulder is filled with a lot of fluids, and the great danger is that tendon ruptures and then go to operation again.”
“Cro Cop,” a former PRIDE star, made a long-awaited UFC debut in 2007 but went 1-2 and made a quick departure. He then returned in 2009 and went 3-4 and announced his retirement, but it was short-lived, and he returned to kickboxing and then MMA. In April, he joined the UFC for a third stint and earned a “Fight of the Night” bonus for his TKO win over Gabriel Gonzaga. It then led to the booking against Hamilton.
However, injuries – a constant nuisance in the second half of his career – again became an issue.
“I am aware that I have come to the end of my martial times, but training with pain I want no longer,” he said. “My body is battered by countless trainings. I collected nine operations. The body has become prone to injury. After each workout I put ice on my knee operated on because it’s filled with fluid, therapies twice a week. The next fight would be 80th professional, and that is a lot, especially in the competition: K-1, Pride, IGF, UFC.”