Ryan already touched on this Cro Cop quote, but I felt compelled to add my own two cents (actually I wrote my post before I saw his, so it’s getting put up whether you shitbirds like it or not). From some Croatian site via Bloody Elbow:
“In addition to winning the Pride Grand Prix Finals, [the Barry fight is] my favorite fight of my career [but] most of the training proved to me that I am now too old for this…I don’t know about a new contract with the UFC. I believe that I gave this game a lot, I fought with the greatest fighters,” Cro Cop said.
“I have some [seminar] contacts around the seminar circuit in the U.S., Australia, Europe and even Brazil,” Cro Cop said.
First, just to get it out of the way, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
If you couldn’t figure it out, my tongue is figuratively attached to Cro Cop’s genitals (no homo, of course). The thought of him calling it quits just doesn’t sit well with the fanboy in me who desperately wants to see the guy KO a few more punkasses, just like he used to do on that island full of fetish porn enthusiasts.
But it makes sense. There were a few times during the Barry fight where it looked like Cro Cop would again suffer defeat at the hands of a lesser mortal. What that signified (once again) was that his days at the top of the HW division are emphatically done. No point in wasting all that energy gearing up for tougher fights when it’s pretty clear what the results will be. Plus, it’s always good to go out with a W as opposed to a string of embarrassing losses (see Liddell, Chuck).
The way I see it, there are two ways to take this comment. The first is taking it for face value, meaning Cro Cop is indeed pondering a post-fighting life full of kickboxing seminars and milking goats on his farm in Zagreb. The second is the “conspiracy theory” view, which I’m fully prepared to commit to after watching last night’s preview of AMC’s Rubicon. This view says that Cro Cop is merely hinting at retirement in order to rile up fan support for his return, and thus increase the contract offer from Dana and Lorenzo.
Aside from the fact that I want to see Crop Cop in the UFC again and I enjoy hardball negotiation tactics, I think we’ll see the former Croatian parliament member back in a Zuffa cage for a variety of reasons. Cro Cop knows that Barry is a guy he was expected to defeat, meaning he has proved relatively little. Cro Cop knows he still has recent losses to guys like Gonzaga and Kongo that he is still capable of avenging (Dos Santos, not so much). Cro Cop knows that he still has potential big money fights against guys like Nogueira and Couture out there that could earn him exponentially more than a few month’s worth of seminars. Cro Cop knows that he put in the right type of training camp for the first time in his UFC career and it paid dividends. With that principle in mind, additional focused training could also pay off. Finally, Cro Cop, despite what he is saying right now, still has a desire to wear UFC gold. Whether he is capable of being competitive with the top guys in the division is unlikely, but the only way of knowing for sure is for him to get back in the cage.
So what do you say, you bloodthirsty heathens? Do you think Cro Cop should go out on a high note, or should he give this cagefighting thing one more shot before his body is truly incapable of doing it?