A loser of two straight with a 4-5 record in the Octagon after a storied career in Japan, next weekend’s fight very well may be his last unless he comes out of the event with his hand raised. It’s a set of circumstances “Cro Cop” has not only accepted but welcomes, his objectivity and integrity overshadowing any the lingering need to compete for selfish reasons.
Filipovic spoke frankly about his situation in a recent conversation with MMAFighting where he emphasized how hard he’d trained for his upcoming battle with “Big Country” and acknowledged his livelihood being on the line at their offering on October 29.
If defeated, the 37-year old said he’ll have no problem saying sorry to the fans for, in his words, “wasting their time.”
“That’s all I can say and that’s exactly what I will say,” Filipovic said on the subject. “I will disappear from the UFC and I will apologize, first to the headquarters of the UFC, because I was treated like a king, I was paid well, and unfortunately I didn’t justify the treatment. I didn’t justify the treatment. I don’t want live on an old glory. That’s why, believe me, I trained really hard for this fight.”
“I must win this fight,” the proud Croatian explained. “I will have to beat him, and I will do it. I trained six months for this fight. I will do it.”
“Some people, many people, buried me alive because I lost twice in a row,” he continued. “I just want to prove to everybody that I’m still ‘Cro Cop’. I want to (rise) from the grave. That’s what I want to prove to everybody. That’s my motivation.”
“I want to retire as the old ‘Cro Cop’. I don’t know if I will be able to do it, but I will die trying. Nothing is hard for me. I will die trying,” he added with finality.
Even with a third straight stumble Filipovic will arguably go down as one of the heavyweight greats for the success he found during his prime in under the PRIDE banner. Not counting his numerous accomplishments in kickboxing, “Cro Cop” holds an overall record of 27-9-2 including past wins over Wanderlei Silva, Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, and Josh Barnett.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC