Saturday night at UFC 103, the MMA legend Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic took to the Octagon again, in hopes of proving that he was still the fighter we saw in Pride, and that he could perform in the UFC. His opponent, Junior dos Santos, beat the once feared striker to the punch throughout the fight, before the bout was called off two minutes into the third round. Following the loss, Filipovic spoke to the Croatian website Jutarnji.hr about the fight, and his possible retirement.
Maybe the ones who have said that I’m done are right. Obviously, I can’t break my mental block in the Octagon. Besides, I’ve been training like a spartan for 20 years now — my body is worn out. The years caught up to me, I’ve been worn out…. (Junior dos Santos) won that fight and would have won it by decision. Simply put, he is younger, more hungry, more aggressive. He wanted to win a lot more….
The mat was slippery like glass. I almost fell down trying to do the left high kick. But I’m not looking for an alibi. This was not the performance the public would pay for. I don’t feel the hunger anymore. I started playing it safe, I’m not ready to take risks.
I would like to thank everybody that supported me and stood by me and everyone who helped me to prepare for this fight. I’ve been living a military life for 20 years now. Getting up at 6 a.m. and having physically challenging task up to 8 p.m. I want a normal life. I’m entering a cage and thinking about fishing in Privlaka. You can’t win that way. Maybe I should’ve quit in 2006 after I won the Pride Grand Prix.
In regards to the end of the bout, despite apparently waving off the contest in the third round, Filipovic offers another account of the ending of the fight saying, “Dos Santos punched me and tore my eyelid. Blood and sweat completely blurred my vision. I stood like a blind man in the cage. At one point at the end of the fight I confused the referee and my opponent.” He then went on to say that he did not in fact call off the bout, but that it was the referee’s decision instead, though he did say that it was a good stoppage.