INDIANAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 25: (L-R) Mirko Cro Cop punches Frank Mir during their UFC heavyweight bout at Conseco Fieldhouse on September 25 2010 in Indianapolis Indiana. (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic is undoubtedly a combat sports legend, and is in the process of winding down his career in MMA and kickboxing. His recent kickboxing bout against Ray Sefo was dubbed as his "Final Fight", but that probably isn't the case. Either way, Mirko did an excellent interview with Fighters Only where he discusses his injury issues in the UFC, a possible deal with K-1 to continue his kickboxing career, and good times with his buddy Pat Barry amongst other things.
I feel good, I feel good. It was a serious injury you know, it was a hard operation. It took four hours of reconstruction and according to the doctors I should still be in the rehabilitation program but instead I already had a fight.
But I was very disciplined before and after the fight and I had physiotherapy twice a day, did a lot of exercise twice a day to return my muscle to the arm, make the ligament stronger. I was careful, patient, very dedicated to recover as soon as possible.
I managed; rehabilitation varies from person to person. The age, the health, the structure of the body, so many things. I definitely returned very fast, recovered faster than doctors expected. But I have to say now, the doctors were first class. They did a masterpiece surgery. They were very careful and I am very happy.
He also suffered a pretty bad eyepoke in his last training session before his UFC 119 bout with Frank Mir, and had a herniated disc in his back going into the bout. He talks a bit about his bad luck, and makes it clear he's not trying to make excuses, then moves on to talk about what's next for him:
Well I’m talking about K-1... I don’t want to say too much but I am interested. Most important thing is health and I feel perfect now, I feel perfect and I needed this fight [with Sefo] to swim out of the bad mood, of the jinx, to swim out of everything.
As I told many times, but people got it wrong - each fight could be the last one for me. Injuries are serious in my sport. To tell you the truth, injuries are more of a threat in training and in some wild sparring than in the fight itself. We have crazy trainings and crazy sparring, so many things could happen.
And one more thing - I am sick and tired of explaining to reporters - not you, not you! - but people who are calling me, journalists who I respect, and I am glad they are taking interest in me. But I don’t want to say I will fight ten more fights or one more fight. Maybe I will do fifteen more fights or I will do none… You will be informed about everything.
Right now I have some offers and I am thinking carefully about what to do. Right now I am still on vacation and I am back in training on Monday. So lets wait and see; I don’t want to keep discussing speculation on the next fight, the future. You know what I mean John - lets just wait and see what the future will bring. Right now I am ready and I have an offer for May, July and September. We will see which offer I take and which offers I will not take.
He also mentions that the door isn't closed to MMA at this point:
Yes K-1... but I have some MMA offers as well. We will see. I don’t want to say too much! All I can see is I will see; I don’t want to talk too much.
You really should check out the whole interview, as it covers a lot of areas. Some of the best stuff is about his "friend" Pat Barry and their recent grappling battles. He even discusses the video of him and Barry singing in the car:
Ha! Pat ‘Bigmouth’ Barry put it on YouTube on I have to kick his ass because of that. Actually I submitted him for it, that’s why I made him tap in front of the camera, ha!