Who doesn’t love a heartwarming tale of CroCop’s retirement? Here’s Stitch Duran talking to MMA Junkie:
“I was at the weigh-ins, and when I saw ‘Cro Cop,’ he came up to me – the ‘Cro Cop’ I was never used to seeing in Japan, where he never spoke to anybody – he comes up and gives me a hug,” Duran today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “The first thing he asks me is, ‘Are you going to be able wrap my hands?’ Then he tells me, ‘This is going to be my last fight.’
“I said, ‘Oh, absolutely – especially if this is going to be your last fight. It’s going to be a big honor for me to say I went in there and wrapped your hands.'”
“I got into the dressing room, and I got in there a little bit earlier than normal to wrap their hands,” Duran said. “‘Cro Cop’ and I literally sat there for a good five minutes and just chatted. It’s something I never really have had – and probably a lot of people haven’t had – the opportunity to do.
“The first thing I asked him is, ‘What are you going to do when you retire?’ He says, ‘Spend my money.’ Then he turns his chair around, and we’re making eye contact and talking, and he says, ‘You know, ‘Stitch,’ I’m tired. Today is 20 years from the time that I had my first fight. My body is beat up. I’ve had six surgeries. I got cut six weeks ago in training. I’m tired.'”
“The thing that really got me, ironically, was he said, ‘I’ve been all over the world, but I’ve never seen anything because I’m always in my hotel room, locked down, or I’m always in the gym. When I’m training, everything is just training, training, training. It’s time for me to spend time with my family and rest,'” Duran said. “That came straight from his heart to me. I thought that was very sincere, and I was glad to be a part of that.”