Guess what Mirko Cro Cop started talking about as soon as his plane touched down in Croatia? Retirement!
“In addition to winning the Pride Grand Prix Finals, it’s my favorite fight of my career [but] most of the training proved to me that I am now too old for this…I don’t know about a new contract with the UFC. I believe that I gave this game a lot, I fought with the greatest fighters,” he told Croatian news site Jutarnji
“For 20 years I lived this life and now I have no motivation for the fight, no mental strength for all the Spartan training. I am no longer so hungry for victory. I will not stop training, but if I am asleep I’ll stay in bed and practice an hour later.”
Filipovic said he may now hit the seminar circuit and share his skills and MMA knowledge with fans and fighters around the world. “I have some contacts around the seminar circuit in the U.S., Australia, Europe and even Brazil,” he said.
I would probably take this more seriously if Cro Cop hadn’t already given us this song and dance a hundred times before. Plus, someone who publicly lobbies for an $85k submission bonus doesn’t strike me as someone who’s so filthy rich he isn’t worried about money anymore. I’m sure if the UFC offers him enough, he’ll take it and not “retire.”
That said, if he’s truly lost all motivation to train and fight, then I really hope he follows through with it. We already know what that Cro Cop looks like, and it’s not pretty.
Onto a much more interesting Cro Cop story, Dana White mentioned last week that he was surprised Mirko was in such good spirits. Apparently, Cro Cop was dealing with some personal issues, but Dana wouldn’t say what it was. Well, turns out it was pretty serious and Cro Cop almost had to withdraw from the card. And you’d never guess why. Mirko was being interrogated by Canadian immigration officials about war crimes from his days in the military during the Bosnian War.
“The first day I was kept for four hours and two more the next day. Although they were not satisfied with my answers they let me go to the hotel in the city, to sleep. They asked me to think about the questions raised. I was threatened with deportation, but appealed to the Croatian Embassy. The Consul was urgently flown in from Ottawa, and the UFC hired the best lawyer for immigration issues,” Filipovic related to Net.hr in Croatia.
“They obviously knew what would happen because my lawyer was on the runway at the airport! The inquiry was painful for me, but I must say that the Immigration Bureau officials very correctly performed their job. They used what they have to, but there are obviously very interested in the military and police matters from the former Yugoslavia.”
“Most of them were interested in my military service. I served in 1993-1994 as a conscripts, but I was not involved in combat activities. They asked me if I was involved in the torture of civilians, asking for names of command lines and tactical commanders,” Filipovic added.
“They were asking for details of my activities in Lucko ATJ [anti-terrorist unit] which I joined a few years after the war. They gave me a list of names for me to confirm, but I did not do it. I can not confirm one name because it is still a matter of dignity and principles. I said to myself, ‘If it comes to it I am ready to go home‘. They could have done what they wanted with me but [in the end] they let me fight.”
Crazy. Who knew Canada was so interested in what Cro Cop was up to 15 years ago?