With some MMA fighters, all you have to do is simply say their name to hardcore fans, and it will instantly evoke memories of their fights, their highlights, their lowlights… your neural connections, flooded with those moments which have defined that fighter, in your mind.
Some memories will be of highlight-reel knockouts. Some will be of slick submissions. Some will be of the fantastic, impulsive mic work they were capable of. And other memories will be of the “defining moments”… the wins, the losses…. of their careers.
But… what if I say… “Cro Cop”?
Most of us hardcore fans, we have the same flashes of memories:
1.) Oh man, he was such a violent striker… did you see the OWGP?!
2.) Man, he really couldn’t get anything done in the UFC… it was sad…
3.) I wonder how that affected him, mentally? He looked like it affected him…
Well, Loretta Hunt managed to address all of our memories, questions, and curiosities, when it comes to the Croatian Cop. And while you may think you know all there is to know about the man, I can guarantee you – you don’t. But you might, after this.
Read on and enjoy, people.
Via Loretta Hunt:
“I’m in a very good mood today,” Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic announces on the other end of the phone. Two weeks out from a kickboxing rematch with Remy Bonjasky at Glory 14 this Saturday (9 p.m. ET, Spike), Filipovic is lying in his bed in Zagreb, Croatia, freshly woken from his daily afternoon nap. VH1 is on in the background, softly playing ’80s music videos. His dog, Maximus, is planted at the foot of his bed.
The 39-year-old Filipovic is a creature of habit. He’s taken the same nap every day for 20 years.
“I’m not allowed to be woken up under any circumstances, except if my house starts burning. Then my wife is authorized to wake me up, but only if fire gets to the door of my room,” he says wryly. “The second is only if American president is calling to take a consultation with me about taking North Korea.”
Wait a minute. Is this the right phone number? This is the same kickboxer-turned-MMA fighter whose left high kick decapitated opponents with the precision of an 18th century guillotine? The same guy who struck utter terror into the hearts of an entire fight generation? And here he is, sounding… jovial?
Stone-faced. Icy. Intimidating. That’s how the fans know Filipovic, a fighter who’s done his best to stay out of the spotlight and miles away from reporters’ tape recorders. While other fighters have bared their souls to the public, the frosty Croatian has had a knack for silence.
“Maybe you can say a part of it is shy[ness], but I don’t know. I never liked it,” Filipovic says. “Maybe it’s not good for the business, but that’s how I am. At least I’m honest. I always hated to be in the bold lights. That’s my business: to go on the stage and the whole arena is staring at me. I like training; I like fighting. I’m a true sportsman and really professional. But I never liked to be a person in the center. I don’t know why.”