Legendary Croatian fighter Mirko Filipovic says he has retired from MMA.
The 41-year-old fighter was scheduled to face Anthony Hamilton Nov. 28 at UFC Fight Night 79 in Seoul, South Korea, but a shoulder injury forced him out of the bout and apparently out of the sport altogether.
"Cro Cop" announced the decision in a lengthy, poignant blog post on his official website:
This is not a temporary decision because I was unhappy due to all of that, but it's my final decision and it's best for me. Sooner or later the time comes when a man has to think on the health. I had a really long and great career and I believe I left a deep mark in the martial arts, in a free fight and in K-1 and I have no regrets. Thanks to everyone who followed me and supported me, but for me there remains beautiful memories. Greetings!
If he really is done, Filipovic retires with a 31-11-2 record with one no-contest in professional MMA action and a 23-8 record as a professional kickboxer.
He is the only fighter to win both a K-1 kickboxing and Pride Fighting Championships Grand Prix, winning the K-1 World Grand Prix in 2012 and the Pride openweight Grand Prix at Pride Final Conflict Absolute in 2006.
In addition, he owns the most first-round finishes in Pride history (15), the most finishes in Zuffa history (21) and is tied with Wanderlei Silva for the most finishes in Pride history (16).
Perhaps most importantly, Cro Cop exits the sport on a win. He defeated Gabriel Gonzaga via third-round TKO at UFC Fight Night 64, avenging a previous head-kick knockout defeat to the Brazilian heavyweight.
A replacement opponent for Hamilton at UFC Fight Night 79 has not yet been named by the UFC. MMA Fighting has reached out to the UFC for comment and will publish their comments if and when they reply.