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Mirko Cro Cop Goes Out With Grace and Fan Adulation, but No Victory

Mirko "Cro Cop" FilipovicUFC 137


Roy Nelson

in a third-round TKO. The Croatian had his moments in the fight, flooring Nelson briefly in the second round and keeping it competitive, with all three cageside judges having the bout tied 19-19 heading into the final frame. Nelson took over in the third and finished him with strikes 90 seconds in. Still, the 10,313 fans in attendance at the Mandalay Bay Events Center saw enough heart in Cro Cop's performance to send him off with a standing ovation.


was. And it was not."

Cro Cop tried to leave the cage shortly after losing, but was asked to stay for a post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. In a classy move, he thanked the promotion for treating him "like a king" and apologized for his inability to bring the same magic to the octagon that he had in the PRIDE ring earlier in his career.

Upset at the outcome of the fight, did not attend the post-fight press conference, however.

Nelson, who snapped a two-fight losing streak with the victory, credited the veteran's performance and skill.

"He came to bang and he came to throw," said Nelson (16-6). "He's one of those guys who can still fight. He hits hard, he's very competitive. It's one of those fights that for me, I wanted to make sure I was the guy to go out there and win. It feels good to be back in the 'W.'"

Cro Cop, once considered the most fearsome striker in the heavyweight division, closed out his career losing each of his last three fights by stoppage.

He went just 4-6 in his 10-fight run in the octagon, but retires with a record of 27-10-2 with 1 no contest. In the end, fans won't necessarily remember the numbers. What they will remember for sure are his devastating high kicks which led to many of his 20 knockout finishes, and led him to coin the phrase, "right leg, hospital, left leg, cemetery."