Earlier this month, legendary Croatian fighter Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipović (44) retired from fighting for good after suffering a stroke.
Two weeks after beating American Roy Nelson at Bellator 216, the Croatian shocked the public by revealing he was now battling for his life after suffering a stroke.
“I had a stroke and had bleeding on the brain. I got out of hospital today. I had incredible luck with the stroke, the leak could have gone left and right. It is over, I hope I will not cry, but that is it. Next is inevitable retirement,” Cro Cop said on 1 March during a television interview.
Cro Cop said the stroke was result of ‘overloading on his neck’ and had explained that he had problems and pain there for the last 2-3 months. Earlier scans did not reveal any problems.
He was back in the gym training for the first time on Wednesday since coming out of hostital.
“The first light training after coming out of hospital. I got lots of messages of advice to what I should and should not be doing. Thanks everyone, but I am aware of everything. Today I only did light muscle contractions without any resistance, because I can’t do that for a long time, for three months. I had to do a bit because I have not done anything for four and a half weeks and that is a huge stress for my body and I was already starting to feel bad because I miss trainings indescribably. But I have to respect doctors orders no matter how hard that is,” Cro Cop wrote on Instagram after the 15 minute session.
Filipović will go down as one of the greatest heavyweights in kickboxing and mixed martial arts history. He was the 2006 Pride Open-Weight Grand Prix Champion and the 2012 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion becoming the second fighter in the world to win mixed martial arts and kickboxing championships and tournaments. He is also a former IGF Champion.
He won his last 10 fights in a row and ends his career with victory over Nelson.
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