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Mirko Cro Cop says Anderson Silva post-injury 'will never be the same fighter'

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

As one of combat sports' elder statesmen, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic knows a thing or two about the effects age and injuries can have on once-great fighters.

The 39-year-old Filipovic narrowly lost to Remy Bojansky on Saturday in his GLORY kickboxing debut. Beforehand though, he appeared on this past week's episode of The MMA Hour, where he shared his thoughts on the current state of his career and dropped an unsolicited reference to one of his contemporaries.

"Many people ask me, what motivates me?" Filipovic mused. "I'm 39 already, and how long (do) I still think to fight? I don't know. I said many times that any fight could be my last one. And it's [like that] for everyone. Just remember what happened to Anderson Silva, that terrible injury he got. Unbelievable. Boom, completely broken."

Filipovic is of course referencing the horrific broken leg Silva suffered in the second round of his rematch against UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman at UFC 168. Weidman checked a hard leg kick early in the round, and the resulting impact caused Silva to gruesomely break his left fibula and tibia in-cage and subsequently lose the bout via TKO.

The 38-year-old former champion has made surprisingly great strides since suffering the injury, posting videos of himself walking unassisted and even grappling on social media.

Though while Silva appears determined to return to the cage, as a man nearing 40 himself, Filipovic can't help but hold his own doubts about the feasibly of such a comeback.

"I heard, thank God, he's recovering, but it'll always leave a scar in his mind, and even physically," Filipovic said. "He will never be the same fighter. He'll never. I really like and respect and admire him, but I don't think he will ever be 100-percent the old Anderson Silva. It was a terrible injury. He'll always start thinking, what if it happens again? But that's the name of the game. You cannot avoid it. Sometimes it just happens."