Cro Cop: ‘UFC Treated Me Like A King But I Failed’
“It’s a black spot in my career, the UFC. UFC treated me like a king. UFC fans treated me like a king. I just failed, you know? Why? It’s hard to say. New fighters are coming. But, I will always believe, I will always believe, maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m right; but I will always believe my bad UFC career started with injuries. I’ve told this story so many times, so, sometimes I just feel stupid to tell it again and sometimes people will just not understand the way I think. There is an old wise (tale) that says, ‘winners will always find a solution and losers will always find an excuse.’ So, I don’t want to sound like a loser who is finding some excuse. But the fact is, after my last fight in PRIDE and before my first fight in UFC, I had foot surgery. It was a broken foot. I had a broken foot after the PRIDE Grand Prix final. A fragment of the bone was floating in my foot. So, after surgery, it took me two and a half months away from training. I wasn’t able to do kicking or running. I was riding a bicycle, push ups and sit ups, but I wasn’t able to train in MMA. I had my first fight and I won it, but I felt really bad. I knew it wasn’t me. After that, I lost to Gonzaga with a terrible high kick. I was surprised and shocked by the cage. At the end of the day it was my second time in the cage and Gonzaga destroyed me with elbows on the ground. So, after we stood up, I didn’t have a double vision, I had three times vision. I saw three guys and he really beat me up badly and throw a high kick that I didn’t even notice. After that, I broke my leg, I broke my knee so I had a fourth knee injury. I would say it’s bad luck or maybe it’s not. In my previous career, I didn’t have any kind of injury so maybe I should consider myself lucky at the end of the day. In the UFC days, injury after injury. Then, before my last fight in UFC with Roy Nelson, I broke my arm. Not my bone, buy ligament broke in half completely. Pat Barry was there in training. I was sparring with Pat and I throw a right hook. I punched him to the head, but at the same time I felt a terrible pain. You could feel a hole in my bicep. The same night I went to the hospital and doctor said in two days I had to do surgery, but that was out of the question. In this case I was supposed to cancel the fight. I was preparing six months for that fight. I was crazy and I took my chances. Now I know that maybe I shouldn’t do that and do things different. But, at the end of the day, to me, I couldn’t wait another six months, maybe more. I just decided to go for the fight ad right after the fight go for the surgery. But, I don’t feel sorry. That’s the name of the game. It’s not a shame to go down, it’s a shame not to stand up. I’m fighter, I’m a warrior and that’s my job. That’s my love and I enjoy it.”
During a recent stint on ‘The MMA Hour’ MMA and Kickboxing legend, Mirko Cro Cop, discussed the downside of his career as a UFC fighter.
Since leaving the UFC in 2012 Cro Cop has gone 1-1 under MMA Rules, but as a kickboxer has gone unbeaten, including a 2012 run through the k-1 Grand Prix that saw him crowned champion.