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After announcing retirement from MMA, Mirko Cro Cop doesn’t rule out 'farewell fight'

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

After winning the RIZIN FF open-weight grand prix a few weeks ago in Saitama, Japan (highlights here), mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Mirko Filipovic announced (yet again) that he would officially be walking away from the hurt business due to health reasons.

But like any other aging fighter, he won’t deny that there will always be the competitive fire burning inside him.

"There will always be a fire inside of me," Cro Cop said. "But there is a time where you have to say enough," Mirko declared during a recent stop at The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting).

"There are so many champions in the combat sports — in MMA, in kickboxing, in boxing — who just didn't know when to stop," Cro Cop said. "There is always younger and stronger fighters that are coming and coming and coming."

Mirko is one of the lucky few combatants who has had the luxury of going out on top, unlike his former PRIDE FC stablemate, Dan Henderson. But despite reiterating that he knows when enough is enough, the knockout artist left the door open for a "farewell fight" if his upcoming knee surgery goes well.

"I think it’s priceless to leave the sport as a winner. With a belt. I think it’s priceless."

"It would be nice if I will be able to recover enough that I can have a farewell fight, maybe in Japan," he said. "It would be nice, but to tell you the truth I don’t know how the surgery will do."

Why must you leave us with that dangling carrot, Mirko?

At the age of 42, the Croation kickboxer knows time and the brutal wars have caught up to him, and since he has the rare opportunity to ride off into the sunset a champion, its seems his third attempt at calling it a day could be it.

"I think it’s important how you leave the sport," Cro Cop said. "If I was younger, of course it would think different. Being at the age of 42 — I will be 43 in September — enough is enough, you know? Enough is enough."

Winner of seven in a row, Cro Cop hasn’t looked better based on his aforementioned dominant performances at the RIZIN grand prix. But with health being his main concern, it seems we’ve finally seen the end of one of the best to ever do it.

Or have we?

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