There was a time when heavyweight Mirko Filipovic was among the Top 3 fighters in the division and one of the most feared adversaries in the MMA. However, time eventually caught up to “Cro Cop” and the 37-year old Croatian decided to walk away from the sport after losing three straight in the UFC with all of the defeats involving a strike-based stoppage.
Now, after finding success in a few kickboxing matches and taking care of some injuries, it looks like Filipovic is tempted to give MMA another go even if it doesn’t mean another opportunity inside the Octagon.
“If you ask me, when I look deep into my soul, of course I would like to fight MMA again. People don’t get it. Martial arts is my life,” said Filipovic in an interview with USA Today. “Even as recently as this week I was sparring kickboxing, and it was so difficult not to throw them on the ground and look to ground and pound. Even while I’m preparing for the K-1 Grand Prix, I’m training on the ground with grappling several times each week.”
The 27-10-2 Filipovic is currently a member of the sixteen-man field competing in the renowned kickboxing organization’s 2012 tournament.
“My motivation now is to prove to everyone that I’m still capable of being in the cage. I’m not old. I’m 37, but I can do things that fighters ten years younger cannot,” Filipovic added. “I will prove that, or I will die trying.”
Filipovic’s last MMA bout came in October 2011. 24 of his 27 total wins have involved some form of finish including twenty by knockout. Among the notable opponents he’s beaten are the likes of Wanderlei Silva and Josh Barnett.
PHOTO CREDIT – FEG