(To prove he still has “it,” Cro Cop conducted the entire interview from this position)
Fighters have to fight, we suppose. Ultimately, that’s the reasoning kickboxing and MMA legend Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic gave when he recently told USA Today that he wants to return to MMA despite retiring from the UFC after his most recent loss to Roy Nelson at UFC 137 in 2011.
“If you ask me, when I look deep into my soul, of course I would like to fight MMA again,” Filipovic revealed. “People don’t get it. Martial arts is my life.”
Cro Cop has lost his last three MMA bouts, all in the UFC, by either KO or TKO, and was 4-6 in his ten total UFC bouts. Cro Cop also fought two dozen times in the now defunct Pride promotion out of Japan, where he took part in one or two fights that you may remember. Filipovic is still fighting for the kickboxing organization where he first made his name, K-1, and most recently picked up a second round knockout victory over Loren Javier Jorge at K-1 Rising, which we’ve added after the jump for your enjoyment.
Although he’s won two straight kickboxing fights since leaving the UFC and is scheduled to fight for K-1 in October, the Croatian fighter says that he still spends a lot of time grappling despite concentrating on kickboxing.
“K-1 was my first love, but 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,” he told USA Today. “Even while I’m preparing for the K-1 grand prix, I’m training on the ground with grappling several times each week.”
Filipovic says that though he’s done with the UFC, he would like to fight in other MMA promotions, just to get some action. What do you say, nation? We all love Cro Cop, but do you all still want to see him fight on in MMA at age 37, despite his struggles to get wins over the last five years or so?
Cro Cop’s motivation is clear, at least, and he doesn’t mind going out on his shield. “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 10 years younger cannot,” he said.
“I will prove that, or I will die trying.”