After he announced last Tuesday the victory in the Rizin tournament was his farewell to a professional career, Mirko Filipović published on Wednesday morning on his Facebook profile a worrisome medical bulletin that speaks of his current medical condition
According to all he wrote, one thing is clear – even if he wanted to, it would be difficult to continue his career at age 43. Here is Cro Cop’s complete touching farewell, as published by Jutarnji List on January 4, 2017.
“Dear friends and all who observed my career, I wish to inform you, as I said last night on television, the Rizin GP was my last competition. Unfortunately, my health is deteriorating and I am no longer capable to withstand the harrowing rhythm and very arduous training necessary to compete in any sport, let alone fighting. My knee is badly damaged and fills with a liquid after every tougher training, which means all of them.
I am waiting for my fifth operation in the knee and tenth total, still waiting to find the exact method after an MRI in a few weeks. On my right knee I’ve had ligaments ruined eight years ago, meniscus was removed and during these last preparations my cartilage was damaged as well. The knee cannot take any more bloody practice, and neither can I, to be honest. During these preparations I went beyond the limits of pain to complete training as I envisioned it and to be properly prepared.
In the last four weeks I could not run anymore from the knee pain and do not wish any more knee punctures or ice burns from cooling it after every training. It is horrific. But I made up my mind to win the Rizin tournament and leave as a champion and that has no price. In the last few days I’ve had several rich offers, but I refused them all.
I have always said I would train and fight until the practice gives me pleasure, but I just can’t go no anymore. My body is spent from the bloody training and there is no point in going on. In the end health is important and the life ahead of me. I did say a farewell fight in Japan would be great, if I can fix the knee to last another training set, but that’s very questionable. It would be potentially possible in the second half of this year, but even if that fight doesn’t happen, I leave happy, satisfied and fulfilled. I leave in the best possible way, as a winner, and that’s invaluable.
Unfortunately, many great champions, didn’t have that privilege and pleasure as they didn’t know when to stop. And they left after a line of defeats, which doesn’t demean their greatness but leaves a bitter taste. I believe this is the best time to depart and I am especially happy, as leaving as a winner has no price! Thank you all from the heart for your support in my career of 20 years and thank you for every message and kind word you’ve ever sent me.”