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Cro Cop Unsure About his Fighting Future; Says If He Continues to Compete, He Wants Couture, Nogueira or Gonzaga


(Right leg, mild contusion. Left leg, charley horse.)

Former 2006 PRIDE open weight grand prix champion Randy Couture, Antonio Nogueira and [Gabriel] Gonzaga – definitely Gonzaga. I would like to fight them in that order actually – Couture, Nogueira, Gonzaga. Those are the kind of fights that would inspire me and make me go through eight weeks of hell with Hippolyte again,” he said, referring to the training camp conducted by the Muay Thai supercoach prior to the Pat Barry fight that left CroCop “in the best shape of [his] life”. “Pat Barry is an excellent fighter, very tough and he can cause trouble for anyone in the UFC today but it is not the same kind of inspiration. I don’t mean to disrespect anyone here but what I am saying is at this point I would only really be interested in big-name fights and in straightening some things out. I need fights that will inspire me,” he explained. “Since 2003, its inside of me to have a rematch with Nogueira, definitely. He is one of the true legends, a pioneer of the sport, former Pride champion and former UFC champion as well. It would be a very interesting rematch for me. As for Couture, he is also a legend of the sport and a pioneer. When I was with Pride I was asked many times, how would I fight against Couture? Well now we could find out.” Filipovic also revealed that being able to fight in Europe would be a big incentive. He says he is well aware that most of his career has been spent fighting overseas and he regrets the fact that his European fans have not been able to see much of him. “If I continue fighting I think would like to fight in Europe very much. First, because of selfish reasons. I am sick of jetlag, sick of spending nine or ten days away from home and away from my family, away from my young son,” he sighed. “You know each time I go away, it is harder for him and he cries more than the last time. I don’t like this. And my wife is pregnant. I understand that business is business and I am a mercenary but every time I have to leave home it is harder and harder for me. “And I do not have the same incentive for travel that I used to – I have made decent money in this sport, I have made a name. Maybe I am in the best possible position now to compete. I don’t need the money, those days are behind me. Now I would fight only to entertain my fans and have great fights. So if I decide to fight again and if I close a deal with deal with Lorenzo, it would be interesting for me to fight in Europe in front of European fans who maybe haven‘t had the chance to see me very much.” So are we likely to see CroCop back in action? “I don’t know, I don’t know. I need some inspiration I think. But its not about money. Obviously there has to be payment but this is bottom of the list for my motivation.””>Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic spoke with Fighters Only’s John O’Regan this week about a number of topics, including his future in the sport of MMA and what it would take to motivate him to continue to fight in the sport that he began competing in nearly nine years ago.

Filipovic says that he hasn’t yet decided whether or not he will step into the cage or ring again as a fighter, but mentioned that being a coach and trainer is a role he would love to tackle after his fighting days are over. 


Although he says age isn’t necessarily a factor as he feels he is in great shape at 35, Cro Cop says that the toll that fighting and training has taken on him physically and mentally has made him much older in "fight years" than he is in "life years."

“I don’t know [what I will do]. First of all, I will take a rest, definitely I will talk with Lorenzo [Fertitta, UFC owner]. I closed this last contract with him and yes I will definitely talk with him. But I really cannot say right now if I will continue fighting. I think for me to keep fighting, the conditions would have to be right. What I mean by that is, first of all the fights have to be inspiring. It has to be an opponent that makes me inspired to go through eight weeks of hell with [trainer Ivan] Hippolyte. People say to me, ‘Couture has 46, 47 years and he is still fighting, so you still have many years left’. But people forget, he has had 16 or 17 fights altogether in his career. I have 35 in MMA and 26 in K-1 and then 44 amateur boxing matches before that – I have had three times more fights than Randy. So of course I am not old in years, but believe me, I have been around! I have been to Japan 44 times. That is 44 times I got out of bed, went to the airport and travelled all the way to Japan, fought once, twice in a night. 44 times I went to Japan, suffered jetlag, no sleep, broken bones, stitches – at some point you become sick of everything. So I am still thinking about what to do and right now I need some rest. I will talk with Lorenzo and we will see. I just need motivation right now.”

What would motivate him, Filipovic says would be fights with legendary opponents who put on exciting shows for the fans, win lose or draw and a possibility to seek redemption.

“I think it means fights with the legends… Randy Couture, Antonio Nogueira and [Gabriel] Gonzaga – definitely Gonzaga. I would like to fight them in that order actually – Couture, Nogueira, Gonzaga. Those are the kind of fights that would inspire me and make me go through eight weeks of hell with Hippolyte again. Pat Barry is an excellent fighter, very tough and he can cause trouble for anyone in the UFC today but it is not the same kind of inspiration. I don’t mean to disrespect anyone here but what I am saying is at this point I would only really be interested in big-name fights and in straightening some things out," he said. "I need fights that will inspire me. Since 2003, its inside of me to have a rematch with Nogueira, definitely. He is one of the true legends, a pioneer of the sport, former Pride champion and former UFC champion as well. It would be a very interesting rematch for me. As for Couture, he is also a legend of the sport and a pioneer. When I was with Pride I was asked many times, how would I fight against Couture? Well now we could find out.”

One motivating factor that isn’t at the top of his list this late in his storied career, Cro Cop says is the bottom line that motivates most fighters today.

"I have made decent money in this sport, I have made a name. Maybe I am in the best possible position now to compete. I don’t need the money, those days are behind me. Now I would fight only to entertain my fans and have great fights. So if I decide to fight again and if I close a deal with deal with Lorenzo, it would be interesting for me to fight in Europe in front of European fans who maybe haven‘t had the chance to see me very much…I don’t know, I don’t know[if I will continue to fight]. I need some inspiration I think. But its not about money. Obviously there has to be payment but this is bottom of the list for my motivation.”

If he does decide to retire, at least we’ll still have Ultimate Force.




(Video courtesy YouTube/Arramis Films)

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2DaDeath- July 3, 2010 at 10:38 am
Dick goes in you?

Nasty bastard.
Dick_Gozenya- July 3, 2010 at 5:32 am
I got tired of wearing my penis around town on the outside of my misanthropants.

(Hey that might be part of my future next-ex name... you never know...)
fatbellyfrank- July 2, 2010 at 11:44 pm
Dick_Gozenya?? any gender mutations we need to be aware of this time? and was this another new dad punishment or didja just get bored?

Or do we just gotta be aware that.........Dick_Gozenya......when you least expect it!
2DaDeath- July 2, 2010 at 11:29 pm
Come on, cheeks. Stay together. Let's stay together...

Oh, God! I hope that was a fart...

Come on, ice cream!

Dick_Misanthropenis- July 2, 2010 at 10:50 pm
That is sad, sad looking croatian in that picture. It looks like he just watched his puppy get run over by a tank or his sister get gang raped by angry militants on a grainy video tape...

... or it looks like somebody just nailed him in the giblets.

cecils_pupils- July 2, 2010 at 10:16 pm
go back to bloodyvagina wiffa. nobody here cares for your opinion since all you do now is whine like a little girl. i know, why don't you go start a thread on BE about how mean we are over here. whiney little bitch.

GTFO loser.
MyFightWiffaCheeto- July 2, 2010 at 6:16 pm
First time I can say you guys are asshats for that caption.

CroCop's a fucking legend and would still take anyone's head off with those fucking kicks.
Lysol- July 2, 2010 at 5:19 pm
Cro Cop vs. Couture would be awesome. Really, all three of those will be. He realizes he's no longer a contender, but can still go out with a bang against another legend. Or at least gatekeeper he has a loss against to avenge.
Shatski- July 2, 2010 at 2:18 pm
With Couture taking the Toney fight in a few months, it would make sense to jump ahead to Big Nog, then maybe Couture, and Gonzaga. Big Nog has had a lay off for a few months now, so the timing would fit that fight better if he wants to get these fights going soon. And they would be pretty cool. For nostalgia if nothing else.
Fried Taco- July 2, 2010 at 2:08 pm
Yeah, I want to see him submit Big Nog, and then Randy Couture! Of course, he'll get knocked out by a head kick again fighting Gonzaga, but then he can retire.
PurplePickle- July 2, 2010 at 1:19 pm
I have never heard a fighter make so much sense in plotting out their next opponents. Every one of those fights would be entertaining, and good matchups. I would love to see Joe Silva set these up.
CAP10- July 2, 2010 at 1:08 pm
He looks like he's taking a shit in that picture.
rite leg ospitahl- July 2, 2010 at 12:58 pm
with a name like right leg ospitahl u know i would have to comment on this. he brings up a good point most of those pride guys have bu-cu fights under their belts. ive touched on this before randys style as oppsed to others lets him not take so much punishment. whereas cro cop and people like him have taken as many big shots as they have given. it causes problems over ther years. but the problem with all of this is that none of these names are people that are ever gonna hold a belt again so why get excited about a has been fight? at some point u have to say yeah they were awesome... were
fiveforfive- July 2, 2010 at 12:44 pm
Has Matt Hughes been life-coaching him?
DazedNConfused- July 2, 2010 at 12:41 pm
id love to see all those fights. All 3 fighters he mentioned aren't at their top anymore. I'd also love to see Cro-cop avenge his loss to Gonzaga.
NotIMPRESSED- July 2, 2010 at 12:37 pm
I think Cro Cop has been hit one to many thousand times... he grouped Gonzaga in the legends category.
BigCountrysCholesterol- July 2, 2010 at 12:36 pm
A Gonzaga rematch makes so much sense to me. Neither guy is top tier right now, and both could use the opportunity to step back up. You all know you would watch that shit.
justscrappin- July 2, 2010 at 12:33 pm
Yup...awesome caption. Yeah...I would watch the fights he is proposing.
Kid Clam Curtains- July 2, 2010 at 12:29 pm
lmao at the caption
jgrant- July 2, 2010 at 12:25 pm
Cro Cop vs Couture could be interesting. Same w/ fighting Big Nog again. But if his heart isn't it he shouldn't do it, he'll get himself hurt. We'll never see the destroyer version of Cro Cop again but fights like those and the Barry fight would be a nice closing chapter for the man.
Scott- July 2, 2010 at 12:24 pm
Holy hell, best caption this week.

He did just beat a pudgy Pat Berry though.
Dante- July 2, 2010 at 12:19 pm
Don't retire. Keep destroying! Cro Cop FEVER!

I want all those fights in that order.
Mdot50- July 2, 2010 at 12:17 pm
Please retire mirko. Its not the same anymore
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