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Farewell, my sweet Crocop

UFC 137 was mostly forgettable past the Nick Diaz / BJ Penn fight, and we fans weren’t the only ones left feeling disgusted by how things turned out. What the event lacked in action it more than made up for in guys retiring themselves after their fights. While we’ll wait a few days for BJ Penn to decide if he really really really wants to retire (as BJ would say, “Find out on!”), Mirko Crocop sounded pretty sure of his decision after losing to Roy Nelson.

People wonder what ever happened to the old Mirko Crocop, and the answer is pretty simple: he died on the operating table. Not literally, but when the doctors sliced up his legs and tried to put his knees back together several times. That was the point where he couldn’t compete the way he used to. Here he is talking about it over a year ago:

“I had a very bad injury two years ago,” “Cro Cop” said. “The knee was completely broken. I had three surgeries for the knee and of course it reflected on my kicking. I was afraid to kick, it was still very fresh. But I decided to take the risk for the [UFC 99] Cologne fight one year ago.

“If you noticed I didn’t even try to do a kick with my German opponent [Al-Turk], and I didn’t try – or I tried only once to kick Junior dos Santos because I didn’t feel very stable in kicking. I didn’t feel like my leg was good so I just didn’t kick it. So of course it frustrated me a lot but it was my decision to enter the cage. It was my decision to accept the fight. Nobody forced me to do that. But thank god it’s behind me now and my legs are okay now.”

Of course, that hasn’t really been true. His legs may be ‘okay’ in that he is able to walk around on them, climb stairs, and do all sorts of normal dude stuff. He was even able to keep up some pretty good mobility in the cage over the past few years. But MMA fighters are like high performance cars. You lose a few fractions of a second in the speed department and you’re done. And with Crocop, it was more than just his speed and agility that were compromised. His kicks – his fucking kicks! – were a thing of the past. When’s the last time you remember him throwing his high kicks effectively? His cemetery specials?

So don’t feel too bad about Mirko retiring. Age and injuries took their toll and it’s impressive enough that we got over a decade of Crocop kicking ass (and face) across kickboxing and MMA. Let’s just move forward and remember the awesome Crocop and all the sick performances he put on. And make a pact to punch any newb in the face that tries to tell you he sucks.

  • Mixed Martial Adam

    The last LHK that Mirko will ever throw in competition…

    have a good time fishing, you’ve earned it.

  • fightlinker

    look at that knee.

    I thought something looked funky through the entire fight as he tried to circle off the cage … his legs looked … i dunno. Not wobbly but not exactly rock solid either.

  • CAP

    He’s so damn tentative now. I wanted to scream at him to pull the trigger.

  • Jarman

    I WAS screaming at him to pull the trigger…..wasn’t even live when I watched it, it was just that frustrating. His punch combos were good….when he threw them. Watching him blast away at Nelson’s forearms was exciting, but then it was back to one-n-done.
    and that wasn’t already a pact?
    Having victimized myself twice with recent knee injuries, I feel for the guy…..but that pic of him throwing the kick there is fuckin funky in a week old cream kinda way. It looks like one of those dried hide knots you give to a dog.

  • Night Rider

    When watching the fight live me and my friends noticed mirko limping in the first round, possibly from when he kicked roys elbow, also later in the fight you can clearly see big swelling on his left foot. I honestly believe his body has just broken down, the force which he can throw strikes with decimate his bones and joints if they hit anything other than a bag or pads. I am glad that he still had impressive moments and wished he would have finished roy with that flurry but fuck roy took jds’ best shots and stood. I wont be surprised if they roll him out one more time for Japan against a more even match, wouldn’t mind crocop retiring now but he can do whatever he wants at this point.

    I will always call Mirko my favorite fighter, enjoy retirement you have earned it.

  • Komodo

    Long live the LHK.

  • lukustra

    I’ve been punching noobs in the face for years.he was so close to tkoing Nelson in the 2nd. i wanted nothing more then mirko to go out on a win.

  • lukustra

    calling mirko my favorite fighter doesn’t even begin to explain what his career means to me.he’s the reason i began following this sport.he’s one of the few fighters that’s known simply by his nickname.only shogun and rampage are two other fighters i can think of. i’m glad he got paid for all he did and can now happily head kicking punk asses in the croatian parliament.

  • iamphoenix

    ^wtf dude you need help.

  • frickshun

    ^^HAAAA!! Co-signed motherfucker.

  • CAP

    Hey everyone needs a role model that kicks people in the head.

    R.I.P. Right leg hospital, left leg cemetery.

  • KeyboardWarrior

    That was beautiful luke.

  • Jarman

    Yeah, i’d say that’s where Crocop’s legs are these days….right leg hospital, left leg 6 feet deep. Hate to admit it, but he’s toast. If he could just let his hands go, he could do some kind of damage, but…..well, 1 flurry don’t cut it