At 42 years old, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipović made a strong case for fighter of the year. He had as many fights in three days as most fighters have in a calendar year, and finished all of his opponents in the first or second round in the RIZIN openweight grand prix.
After once again ascending to the top of Japanese MMA, Cro Cop announced that he is going to finally retire from competition. How ironic he believes it is "time" to retire after he's just been given a watch for winning the RIZIN grand prix.
"That was definitely my last tournament. I have health problems and this is definitely the end of my career”, Cro Cop said. "If necessary, one farewell match if I can rehabilitate knee which I have a big problem. Only, of course in Japan."
Cro Cop retired after he won the PRIDE openweight grand prix, "retired" after leaving the UFC years ago, and now, ten years later, he won the #RIZIN2016 opeinweght grand prix and retires once again.
Getting a gold medal, dragon trophy, championship belt, a cruise, $300K and bling for his wrist isn't a bad way to go out. Although, it seems like Cro Cop is leaving the door open for one last fight.
''I have to be smarter when it comes to my knee. Torn ligaments, the cartilage is destroyed," Cro Cop said. "I went to the doctor once a week, after training and acupuncture. I never want to go through such hell. I gave my best. I know I've already announced the end, but this is definitely the end."