(Video courtesy MMAWeekly)
During a media scrum ahead of his UFC 119 bout with Frank Mir, Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic was asked about his career, his future in MMA and whether or not chasing a title is in his plans.
When asked where he sees himself in the UFC’s heavyweight division, Cro Cop danced around the question like a politician.
"I see myself only Saturday night in front of Frank Mir. That’s where I can see myself so far."
Responding to another reporter’s query of whether he wakes up with the urge to be a UFC champion, the former PRIDE and K-1 star gave a much more direct answer.
"I don’t know if it happens every morning, but from time-to-time it happens, definitely. It’s hard, though, when you turn 37 and counting the Frank Mir fight, it will be my seventieth career fight — thirty-seventh fight in MMA and I had 33 K1 fights," he explained. "When you have 70 professional fights by the time you’re 37, you think a little bit differently than when you were at the age of 25. But I love fighting."
That being said, Mirko says he hasn’t really begun to think what he will do after he hangs up his Croation flag shorts.
"I don’t know. I didn’t think too much about it. Whatever happens happens. I was lucky. I managed to secure myself and my family financially, so I don’t need to be concerned," Cro Cop said. "I don’t have to do anything. Of course I would like to stay in the sport and most likely I would start [to do] seminars around the world — definitely stick with MMA. That’s my love. That’s my job. That’s my destiny. That’s all."
One thing Mirko might not have wanted to divulge to a guy like Mir, who has been known to break arms, take guys’ legs home with him and mention that he wants to kill his opponents and snap their bones, is that he has one recurring injury that could force him into retirement if it gets damage inflicted to it again.
*editor’s note: If you’re Frank Mir and you’re reading this article, first off, thanks for ignoring our request to have you on The Bum Rush, and second, if you read any further, you are a cheating bastard without an ounce of honor.
For everyone else, here’s the skinny on Mirko’s figurative Achilles heel:
"I had six surgeries during my career. I had four surgeries for my knee and I don’t think I will survive another knee surgery. I mean, not survive sports-wise. You have to find the strength to go for surgery and then you go for rehabilitation six, seven, eight months. I don’t want to have to go through that any more," he explained earnestly. "Any fight could be the last one. [An injury] doesn’t have to happen in a fight. A fight is nothing when you compare it to training when you have two or three sparring partners changing on you every three minutes. If any major injuries come, it will definitely affect my future as a fighter. And you don’t know when it will happen."