Mirko Cro Cop
- Full name Mirko Filipovic
- Nickname Cro Cop
- Birth date September 10, 1974
- Birth place Vinkovci
- Current age 40 years 326 days
- Height 6 ft 2 in
- Weight 220 lb
When it comes to scary characters, few rival Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, the former law enforcement officer with the lethal reputation for being able to knock out his opponents in one blow.
Cro Cop's mixed martial arts background is founded upon a past spent in the Lucko Anti-Terrorist Unit, an elite special forces unit in Croatia. Inspired by Branko Cikatic, Cro Cop developed his kickboxing and soon became one of the most feared strikers in MMA.
The Pride organisation was where Cro Cop developed his deadly reputation, beating Heath Herring to begin a spell of three consecutive knockouts via kicks. In 16 fights he only lost twice, beating Josh Barnett, Kevin Randleman and Mark Coleman. The 2006 Pride Grand Prix was Cro Cop's crowning glory, knocking the head off Wanderlei Silva - with yet another head kick - in the semi-finals, before repeating his victory over Barnett in the final. The UFC simply had to follow.
Possessing a chilling style that sees him stalk his opponent inside the Octagon, Cro Cop destroyed Eddie Sanchez on debut, hurting his opponent so badly that Sanchez could be seen almost running away by the end of the fight.
However, the expected script did not materialise as Cro Cop lost to Gabriel Gonzaga in 2007 in a bout to determine the top UFC heavyweight contender. Gonzaga beat the Croatian with his own signature move - the head kick - and Cro Cop would make it back-to-back losses against Cheick Kongo. Both times he stated he had injuries.
After a brief spell away from the UFC he returned two years later, beating Mostapha Al Turk before suffering a battering against Junior Dos Santos. Cro Cop claimed his body still was not right, forcing him to have surgery, and he bounced back with wins over Anthony Perosh and Pat Barry, the latter of which earned him Submission of the Night honours after he recovered from two knockdowns to lock on a rear naked choke.
However, three more lacklustre defeats, this time to Frank Mir, Brendan Schaub and Roy Nelson, left Cro Cop with little option but to retire with countless memories in the bank.
Cro Cop's overall career high undoubtedly came outside of the UFC with devastating knockouts such as his victory over Wanderlei Silva, but inside MMA's top organisation the come-from-behind win over Pat Barry was easily the best the UFC has seen of its favourite Croatian.
Having built a huge reputation for his ability to knock opponents out with a deadly head kick, Cro Cop's second UFC bout saw him dealt a sickening taste of his own medicine by Gabriel Gonzaga.
"Right leg, hospital, left leg, cemetery."
Mirko Cro Cop serves his country as a member of the Croatian parliament.
- 'Cro Cop' eyes return to MMA (Aug 14, 2012)
- Cro Cop set for February return (Dec 28, 2010)
- Mir not worthy of headline status after victory (Sep 28, 2010)
- Cro Cop slapped with five-month medical suspension (Sep 27, 2010)
Mir KOs Cro Cop in front of unhappy crowd at UFC 119 (Sep 26, 2010)