A stroke has forced Croatian fighter Mirko Cro Cop to retire from fighting. The 44-year-old confirmed the news Friday, telling ESPN’s Ariel Helwani he can no longer take punches to the head.
Cro Cop — whose actual name is Mirko Filipovic — also told Helwani he was “very lucky.
The legendary Mirko Cro Cop announced his retirement on Croatian TV today. Spoke to him earlier and he confirmed he suffered a stroke after his last fight and he can no longer take punches to the head. He is doing OK, though. “I was very lucky,” he said. More shortly.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) March 1, 2019
The news comes just weeks after Cro Cop defeated Roy Nelson at Bellator 216. Cro Cop won the rematch against Nelson by unanimous decision.
On Friday, Cro Cop posted a picture of his wrist with a hospital bracelet on his Instagram page.
A few hours later, he confirmed he was retiring.
Cro Cop became a professional kickboxer in 1996. He joined Pride Fighting Championships in 2001 and became a mixed martial arts fighter. He also fought for PRIDE, UFC, Dream, Rizin and Bellator, among others, during his lengthy career.
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