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Mirko Cro Cop withdraws from UFC event in South Korea, retires from MMA (again)

Esther Lin

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Mirko Filipovic recently announced his withdrawal from the upcoming UFC Fight Night 79 mixed martial arts (MMA) event on Fight Pass, which airs Nov. 28, 2015 inside Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul, South Korea.

It appears his hatred for Reebok a nagging shoulder injury is to blame.

That's according to a lengthy statement he posted on his official website, which went into detail about his decision to strand Anthony Hamilton overseas. In it, he also revealed he was done fighting (again) because his 41-year-old body is prone to injuries.

His words:

"Unfortunately I had to cancel the fight in Seoul. In the beginning of the preparation I already hurt my shoulder, so I couldn't raise a hand. I tried to save a shoulder injury and repair in all possible ways: daily therapy, injections of blood plasma and various cocktails of drugs but didn't work out. The only cure would be a break of two to three weeks, and that I could not afford in the midst of final preparations. By daily trainings the injury gets worse. Part of the muscle is snapped, the shoulder is filled with a lot of fluids, and the great danger is that tendon ruptures and then go to operation again. I am aware that I have come to the end of my martial times, but training with pain I want no longer. This is not a temporary decision because I was unhappy due to all of that, but it's my final decision and it's best for me. Sooner or later the time comes when a man has to think on the health. I had a really long and great career and I believe I left a deep mark in the martial arts, in a free fight and in K-1 and I have no regrets. Thanks to everyone who followed me and supported me, but for me there remains beautiful memories."

The promotion has yet to make an official announcement.

Filipovic (31-11-2, 1 NC) returned to UFC last April, avenging his 2007 loss to Gabriel Gonzaga with a third-round technical knockout victory. It was his fourth win in five attempts -- third straight -- after a disastrous Octagon run that left him finished in three consecutive bouts.

It will be interesting to see if his "retirement" lasts longer than two months.

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