It didn't end the way in which most had hoped -- with a violent headkick knockout -- but Mirko Filipovic went out a winner last night (March 10, 2012) with a unanimous decision victory over Ray Sefo in a "Final Fight" kickboxing match from the Arena Zagreb in Zagreb, Croatia.
"Cro Cop," a former K-1 powerhouse and mixed martial arts (MMA) legend from the Pride FC heyday, has been plagued with injuries and inconsistency ever since his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut back in 2007. In fact, the devastating Croatian knockout artist won just three of his last seven professional MMA fights inside the Octagon against suspect competition, including three consecutive (technical) knockout losses.
It was a far cry from his epic days in Japan, where he won the Pride FC Open Weight Grand Priz tournament at the height of his power in 2006. However, it was good to see him go out on his own terms in front of a supportive, and adoring, hometown crowd.
MMAmania.com's Patrick Stumberg reflects on his farewell fight:
While he didn't look like the terror who was once the most feared heavyweight on the planet, Filipovic put on a solid performance, controlling the trash-talking Sefo with heavy left hands and effective work from the clinch. Refreshingly, despite eating an enormous right hand from the powerful Sefo, Mirko was entirely unfazed, and came away with a well-deserved unanimous decision. Well done, Mirko. Now please retire.
Cro Cop, 37, is not expected to return to competition, but it wouldn't be surprising, either, if he continues to flirt with fighting in the near future.