Legendary Croatian fighter Mirko Cro Cop retires after stroke

Yahoo Sports
Mirko Cro Cop will not fight anymore after suffering a stroke. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
Mirko Cro Cop will not fight anymore after suffering a stroke. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

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.

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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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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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