Mirko Cro Cop Announces Permanent Retirement from MMA Due to Stroke

Mirko Cro-Cop, Bellator 216
Mirko Cro-Cop, Bellator 216 Credit: Mike McClory/Cageside Press

Mirko Cro Cop has retired from MMA for the third time, but this time is permanent after he suffered a stroke.

Mirko Cro Cop announces his retirement from MMA and revealed the reasoning on Croatian TV.

Cro Cop explained that he had been suffering from neck pain for the last two months. The issues came to a head the last few days when he felt faint several times and lost consciousness in training. The legendary striker made it clear that he will never train or fight again as to not put his brain/life at risk.

As of now, it is not known if his fight earlier this month against Roy Nelson caused any damage, but he did not speak to media after the victory for what it’s worth.

The 44-year-old ends his career on a 10-fight win streak, which includes a RIZIN Openweight Grand Prix victory. Also included in the streak is his return to the UFC, when he got revenge for one of his most disastrous losses with a second-round knockout against Gabriel Gonzaga.

Cro Cop’s prime was in the Japanese promotion PRIDE, where he was their 2006 Heavyweight Grand Prix champion. He is tied with Wanderlei Silva for the most finishes in the promotion with 16, 15 of which were in the first round. Unfortunately, his 18-4-2 run in PRIDE did not translate to UFC success, as he went 4-6 in the Octagon across three stints.

The man known for his head kicks and his “right leg hospital, left leg cemetery” motto was also the king of the rematch. His most recent win over Roy Nelson made Cro Cop 8-0 in rematches in his career.

Like Georges St-Pierre last week, Cro Cop becomes one of the few legendary figures to retire on a high note. GSP on a 13-fight win streak, Cro Cop on a 10-fight win streak.