Mirko Filipovic AKA ‘Cro Cop’ is an iconic figure in the combat sports world. The Croatian was forced to retire a year ago after suffering a mini-stroke just a week after beating Roy Nelson in a rematch. He is now 45 years old and doctors advised him to hang up his gloves. However, he’s still got it.
‘Cro Cop’ is a legend in kickboxing and MMA. His biggest success came under the PRIDE and K-1 banners. His nickname, Cro Cop, short for “Croatian Cop”, comes from his membership in the Lučko Anti-Terrorist Unit, Croatia’s elite Police Special Forces tactical unit. In short, you don’t want to mess with this man.
Check out the clip below of him training the next generation. His son Ivan is also looking to be a fighter and is putting in the work. Those are some scary kicks. You wouldn’t want to mess with this family because you’d end up getting your head smashed in.
Looks like the left high kick is hereditary ? (via crocop1009/Instagram) pic.twitter.com/SqnsKOjBfk
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 27, 2020
The pair put in some work on the heavy bag. In the footage originally shared on Cro-Cop’s Instagram, we see the pair going to town on the bag with brutal kicks. First of all, Cro-Cop lands some savage high kicks before unleashing at different heights. Then his son also has a go and demonstrates the same perfect technique before Cro-Cop goes back for more. He suffered a mini-stroke but he’s definitely fitter than the average man.
Of course, Filipovic’s left kick is notorious. The old saying goes, ‘right leg hospital, left leg cemetery.’ It literally caused souls to leave bodies, that’s how effective it was.
Cro Cop is the 2006 Pride Open-Weight Grand Prix Champion, the 2012 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion and the 2016 Rizin Openweight Grand Prix Champion. He became the second fighter in the world to win mixed martial arts and kickboxing championships and tournaments. He is also a former IGF Champion.
However, he didn’t really do it in the UFC. Filipovic went 3-4 during his tenure there, losing to the likes of Roy Nelson, Brendan Schaub, and Junior Dos Santos. From there he fought for RIZIN and Bellator before retiring on a ten-fight winning streak. Retirement didn’t come when he wanted, but better safe than sorry.
Cro Cop is at peace with his retirement. Sure he may have got a shot at the Bellator title if he kept going, but he was in the twilight of his career. At the age of 45, it wasn’t far away so he was already considering it. Unfortunately, it came with health issues, but he’s able to manage them now. He told Total Croatia News:
“I had a great, huge, rich career, I really have no reason to complain. You need to end it somewhere. I feel a little bit weird now; I’m just becoming aware that it’s over. My life is a bit more relaxed.”
Now it’s all about preparing his son for his upcoming challenges. Will he become a pro fighter? Of course, it’s always tough following in the footsteps of a professional fighter father. But at least he’ll be able to sort the bullies out.