Even the most diehard of Mirko Cro Cop fans, despite their penchant to keep hope alive, know deep down that Mirko just doesn’t have the same fire burning inside of him that he had in PRIDE when he routinely sent dudes to the cemetery with his patented left high kick. In fact, we’ve known it for awhile, and now that his UFC career is likely over following his knockout loss to Brendan Schaub, Mirko has finally admitted it himself. Mirko speaking to Croatian news site Jutarnji.hr (translated via MMA Mania):

“I feel like somebody stole something from me. I am disappointed by the result, but congratulations to Schaub and thanks to my fans for their support. It’s clear that in this sport without hunger, wish and ambition to win there is no success, and its also clear that there is no more left of those in me. He surprised me with that strike, everything was same like against Frank Mir. It seemed to me like I was better. What am I saying? If I was better, I would have won!”

While it’s clear he doesn’t like to show it, Mirko is a pretty emotional guy. We’ve seen him question his career on a number of occasions following his losses, but he always came back for more. This time may be different though. Mirko is a proud man. There aren’t any big stage promotions left for him to fight for (unless DREAM makes a miraculous comeback), and I doubt he would be willing to fight for some regional promotion for lesser pay. It’s just not his style.

Time will tell, but this may very well be the end of the road for Mirko Cro Cop.

Check out James Law’s UFC 128 photo gallery at Heavy.com