March 21, 2011
Cro Cop to hand in his badge?Fan fave likely to retire after UFC 128 loss
By CHRIS DOUCETTE, QMI Agency
NEWARK, N.J. — Is the UFC's top Cop finished?
After watching fan favourite Mirko (Cro Cop) Filipovic take one helluva a beating in his fight against Brendan Schaub at UFC 128, the company's president announced it was the last time the Croatian would be stepping into the octagon.
"I'd have to say tonight is probably the last time we'll see Cro Cop fight again," Dana White said at the post-fight press conference.
Although he hadn't talked to him yet, White said he didn't think he would get any argument from Cro Cop.
Schaub, a former Arena Football League player, outmuscled Cro Cop and took him down with relative ease throughout the fight. However, Cro Cop managed to stay in the fight and even got in some licks of his own.
Schaub's face was such a mess after the bout, it's hard to believe he was the winner.
But with only 76 seconds left in the third and final round, he dropped Cro Cop with a stunning knockout punch.
It was actually a TKO, but it really should have been a KO.
It's the second fight in a row the 36-year-old has been KO'd.
Filipovic, whose nickname stems from once being a Croatian Cop, has won 27 fights in his MMA career. Most of those wins came while he was with Pride, which is now owned by the UFC.
He won the 2006 Pride open-weight grand-prix and was once ranked the top heavyweight in the world after beating the likes of Wanderlei Silva, Josh Barnett, Aleksander Emelianenko and Mark Coleman.
In his first stint in the UFC, in 2007, Cro Cop had a disappointing 1-2 record. In his second, in 2009, he went 3-2. He fought briefly in Japan in between.
White said he'll always have great respect for the legendary fighter.
"I was talking tonight about how tough Mirko Cro Cop is," White said. "At his age and with the wars he's been in, to see how he gets in there with these heavyweights now that are bigger, stronger and younger than he is — and he still holds his own — it's a testament to what a great fighter the guy was in his prime."