‘Cro Cop’ Returns to Ring and Extends Winning Streak at Rizin 13 in Japan!

Daniela Rogulj

Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipović returned to the ring and extended his winning streak, even after he suffered a severe knee injury not even five months ago. 

Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipović has achieved his 37th win in the 51 professional MMA fights of his career! Cro Cop celebrated against American fighter Roque Martinez after the fight was stopped in the 1st round. Namely, a left-elbow strike by Filipović left an open gash on Martinez’s forehead – and according to the Rizin rules, the match could not resume due to the size of the open wound, reports Gol.hr on September 30, 2018. 

The stoppage came after Cro Cop clenched Martinez in the corner of the ring at the Saitama Arena and struck Martinez’s forehead with his left elbow, which quickly released a heavy flow of blood from the American fighter’s forehead. As the doctors were unable to stop the bleeding, according to the rules of Rizin, under which the fight was organized, the match was stopped and Mirko Filipović was declared the winner.


‘Cro Cop’ has thus come to his 37th victory (37-11-2), and ninth consecutive win, though he only had surgery on his left knee back in May. Filipović was incredibly quick to recover considering the extent of his injury. 

Martinez tried to use Mirko’s ‘bad knee’ to his advantage during the fight, often striking at Mirko’s left knee, especially when they were in the corner of the ring. Filipović, however, was able to easily attack the American fighter, who is 12 years his junior, was well protected and had an excellent counterattack with an impressive strike to finish the fight. 

Despite the victory, Filipović’s reaction after the fight showed that he had hoped to win differently and was ready for a much longer battle with Martinez, who achieved his fifth defeat in his 20th battle (13-5- 2).

Mirko Filipović announced that he will have the last fight of his career on December 31st this year. His rival for that duel is not yet known.


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