(Cro Cop helps the K-1 promoters play a very cruel joke on Bob Sapp.)
Just a couple months ago Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic appeared to be walking away from MMA for good, citing a lack of desire after a thoroughly uninspired effort against Junior Dos Santos at UFC 103. Now it seems as though he’s coming back to take on Ben Rothwell in Australia this January, so you might rightfully be wondering, what’s going to change, apart from Filipovic’s facial structure if he doesn’t improve upon his last performance?
Well, almost before you can finish asking the question, Cro Cop has answered it. He’s dropped his old boxing coach in favor of working with former Muay Thai champ Ivan “The Hydro” Hippolyte, and he’s also sent his old buddy and sparring partner Igor Pokrajac packing. So, problem solved?
Don’t be so sure. For fighters in the vulnerable twilight state of their careers, there are no shortage of false friends out there. Changing training camps can be one, changing weight classes is another. There’s an allure about anything that offers the illusion of meaningful change. We’ve all experienced it at one time or another.
Say you’re in a bad relationship. Things aren’t working, even though you tell yourself that you genuinely want them to. So you take a vacation together. That will fix everything right? Only you forget the digital camera, she complains about the cheap hotel you booked, and the next thing you know you’re stuck at Sea World with a person you hate, who also hates you. Admit it, you’ve been there.
If Cro Cop retired because he wasn’t feeling the same burning desire to fight, it’s hard to see how a new trainer and a new camp will have that much of an effect. Though, in all fairness, sometimes an older, more secure fighter needs to be around the kids with the hunger in their eyes before he realizes what he’s missing. Then again, sometimes it just reminds him of how he used to be, and how he’ll never be again.